Awards evenings galore.
26th November: Late November is a time when many drag racing awards evenings take place and today is no exception.
Two race groups in the UK have their celebrations tonight, the Wild Bunch and VWDRC and we will be bringing results from these events and Outlaw Street who had their prize evening on 12th November, in next week's updates.
26th November: Happy Birthday for today to expat Brit Top Fuel racer Steve Read, former Super Street crew member Wendy E Llewellyn, Top Doorslammer racer Rimbert Vahlström, and 9.50 Bike racer Jonathan Kasziba. We hope you all have a fantastic day.
Those missing the sounds and sights of Nostalgia Top Fuel racing at the California Hot Rod Reunion have a treat in store on Youtube with Les Mayhew's Nitro America showing 48 minutes of action and interviews from the 2022 event, including top end and on-board shots. You can see this outstanding high def production by clicking here.
For British drag racing nostalgia, drag racing historian Nick Pettitt has posted Pro Modified from the 1994 Avon Park Powerfest and more from the 1999 FIA European Drag Racing championship at his channel which is at this link.
Lencsés receives awards.
25th November: The Hungarian Motorsport Association, covering all discliplines of motorsport, has awarded Super Street Bike racer Dániel Donát Lencsés its MAMS Men's Athlete of the Year.
Dániel said "As well as the trophy for the MAMS Men's Athlete of the Year I received a commemorative plaque from FIM Europe, which I am also incredibly proud of!" Thank you all on behalf of myself and my team!
Dániel won the FIM-E Super Street Bike championship in a hard fought battle over four events, winning the opening round at Santa Pod Raceway in May and setting new FIM-E records of 6.649 and 226.72 at the Summit Racing Internationals at Tierp Arena in August.
Eurodragster.com joins Dániel's peers in congratulating him on his championship victory and awards. See you next year Dániel!
25th November: Happy Birthday for today to Outlaw Street racers Sally Woolner and Derren Brown who reaches the half century, have a wonderful day both!
Smurf Honda found.
24th November: We are delighted to report that the FWD Honda Civic race car of of Sean Prout has been found, essentially unharmed and complete, parked at the side of a road in the village of Iklin in Malta after it was stolen from the Hal Far Raceway on Sunday night.
Kieran had a part to play in communicating the brilliant news to Sean from the UK. He posted "What a night! I was woken by a call through Facebook at 4am this morning asking for Sean’s number as the car had been found, managed to get through to Sean with the help of Ahmed Jamshaid who was the only one active at 4am as he was looking for car parts, and shortly after Sean was reunited with his car!
"We’ve had the best possible outcome too as the car is complete only with minor damage from it being taken and this is all thanks to everyone who kept sharing the posts making it too hot to handle. Sean Prout, I’m so happy for you."
The car was spotted by a local resident who recognised it from photos in the media. We agree with Kieran and comment that the racing community had a large part to play in raising the profile of the crime committed so that Sean's Civic became too hot to handle with thousands of shares of social media posts and pictures of the car. Another factor that kept pressure on the perpetrators was Sean and tuner Gordon Darby of Street Racers Rolling Road Tuning & Remapping staying in Malta at their own cost, part funded by a GoFundMe crowd funding appeal, to search for the car and maintain the profile of the case.
Kieran's Malta gallery.
24th November: As well as shooting video at the Hal Far track which you can see on Youtube and Facebook, Kieran has supplied a gallery photos which you can see at this link. Our event coverage which you can see via the link in the main menu, is sponsored by John Woolfe Racing.
Kieran's latest Youtube upload is on the Import Dragster scene in Malta. He says "Throughout the weekend of the MDRA Finals we saw some wild saves, fantastic PBs and all round good racing." You can see the video by clicking on this link.
24th November: A very Happy Thanksgiving to our readers in the United States.
Happy Birthday to Mad Welshman contributing photographer Paul Evans and to our Swedish friends former Svensk Dragracing webmaster Erik Zettervall and former Pro Modified racer Lars-Inge Johansson, we hope you all have a great day!.
Melbourne Raceway calendars.
23rd November: Melbourne Raceway community FB group administrator Kelli Barrett has announced that 2023 calendars to raise funds for the track have gone on sale:
"The price per calendar is £15.00 including 1st class postage. I am collecting the calendars from the printers on Friday 25th November and will be able to start getting them sent out then. If you would like a calendar please send £15.00 via Paypal (the payment must be sent as friends and family!) to Kellibrrtt@Gmail.com and include your postal address.
"The calendar includes racing dates for Melbourne and other Straightliners events. All profits will go to the track fund for Melbourne! A limited number are available so first come, first served. Any questions please direct message me."
23rd November: Happy Birthday for today to Gasser Circus racer, working on a new Austin Dorset build, Tom Margesson and Pro ET and NSS racer and class supporter James Oliver, have a wonderful day Tom and Ollie!
Drag racing historian Nick Pettitt's latest Youtube upload is Pro Stock and Top Fuel from the 1999 European Finals held at Santa Pod Raceway which can be seen at this link. The video is presented by Russ Malkin and commentary provided by Graham Beckwith. For those with long memories, winners at this event were Robin Read in Top Fuel and Niclas Andersson in Pro Stock. You can see all the event's results at www.trakbytes.co.uk.
Sean's Smurf stolen.
22nd November: We were shocked to hear that the Honda Civic race car of UK FWD racer Sean Prout, with its distinctive Smurf wrap, was stolen from Hal Far Raceway on Sunday night.
Sean, who towed his car through Belgium, Germany and Italy to reach Malta via ferry, suffered gearbox and turbo issues on his first day at Hal Far. After working to solve these problems, he went for a full pass on Saturday, however the car suffered wheelspin and spun around hitting the guardrail down track causing minor damage. The Civic was then left parked at the top end of the track awaiting retrieval. However, after being left on Sunday, the car was spotted by CCTV being towed away around midnight on Sunday. Sean arrrived at the track yesterday morning to find that the car had gone and immediately raised the alarm.
Sean said "The video shows the car being towed by a small Toyota and covered in black tarp and was seen on the Birkirkara bypass (on the eastern side of the island). The person driving the car had lots of tattoos and was wearing a black hoodie."
Sean offered on social media a €5,000 reward for the recovery of his car, which has run a best of 9.6599/153.12 at Santa Pod's Japshow Finale and on which Sean invested around £100k to develop. The theft was reported in local newspapers Times of Malta and Malta Today as well as being widely shared on Facebook.
MDRA secretary Konrad D'Anastasi announced "After Sunday's shocking events where a car was stolen from our grounds, (which I must state, until this date has never happened in the MDRA's history) we spent a whole day co-operating and assisting in the police investigation with anything possible to help as much as we can.
"We are hopeful that the police will be able to find Sean's car. This has been a freak incident that has shocked us all, as the drag racing community is a very tight one here in Malta, and something like this, nobody would have imagined would ever happen. Once we have more information we will update you. If anybody has information that can help in any way, they are requested to speak (anonymously if they wish) to the local Birzebbugia/Zejtun police stations."
More Malta media.
22nd November: The Malta Drag Racing Association Finals held at Hal Far, which was rained off on Sunday had a few on track incidents but also a slew of personal bests. You can see media from the event at the following links, which will be updated with additional material over the next few days:
Custom Car's Winter edition.
22nd November: UK drag racing and hot rodding magazine Custom Car has published a Winter Edition, which fills in the gap between the December issue and the January one which will be published on 22nd December.
In it are eight pages of coverage of the STP Summer Nationals from Santa Pod Raceway with photos by our Julian Hunt and words by Mike Pye, coverage of the nostalgic RPM Nationals from Santa Barbara, California by Tony Thacker, and several articles on hot rods and hot rod shows around the UK accompanied by numerous photos.
You can subscribe to Custom Car for £25 for 13 issues by direct debit, with a free inspection lamp, by going to www.assignmentmedia.co.uk/customcar. When the subscription renews a reduced charge of £42 applies. Or visit your local newsagent and pay the cover price of £4.99.
22nd November: Happy Birthday for today to Pro ET crew Karen Stevens, Top Fuel and Top Methanol Dragster crew member Konrad Ree, Belgian Super Twin racer Chris Van Nimmen and Maltese Escort racer Rodney Farrugia. We hope you all have a great day. Also, in the absence of an update yesterday, a belated Happy Birthday to 2022 Pro ET Champion Brett Featherstone.
Records celebrated in Malta.
20th November: Yesterday, a number of records were broken at Hal Far Raceway, Malta in the MDRA Finals which finishes today.
The track speed record for Hal Far was reset by Duncan Micallef in his Top Fuel dragster who recorded a great 4.076/300.90 mph pass to 1000ft with Rune Fjeld and his team, well done on a great achievement! In round 1 of the D4 Dragster class, Tyson Debono of XII Racing ran a PB of 6.42 at 215 MPH on a winning run.
All Wheel Drive racer Hubert Strengberger improved on his test day time to a new AWD European Record 7.149/185mph in his Audi TT. Also Christophe Marie-Francoise in the MF Performance Seat Arosa broke the European record for a diesel FWD car with a 9.436/147.70. Well done to all those who ran new records and PBs.
Photo credits: Alex Buttigieg, Simon Giordmaina, Mk1Kieran
On the bike side, U.S. Pro Street legend Rodney Williford made the long journey to Malta to ride for Simon Giordmaina on his Super Street Bike, running a best of 7.03/210mph on only his third pass on the brand new machine. New PBs were set by Stephen Cauchi who ran his first seven on his naturally aspirated Suzuki Hayabusa, Chris Vella who ran 8.004/172 on his Kawasaki and Steve Bezzina who went 8.3s also without power adders.
Commiserations go to UK FWD racer Sean Prout who had a spin and contacted the wall after half track, and bike racer Eric Baldacchino who came off his machine. Sean walked away from his incident unhurt but Eric was transported to hospital and we wish both all the best and to come back to the track soon.
Due to on-track incidents yesterday and rain today there has been downtime, however you can see an album from the first three days of the event at at the Facebook page of Alex Buttigieg. We will publish results from the MDRA Finals in the next few days.
20th November: Happy Birthday for today to Santa Pod Raceway co-founder John Bennett who reaches 92 years of age, Swedish Top Methanol Funny Car racer Ulf Leanders, Nostalgia Funny Car and Comp Bike crew member Dennis Bulford and UK Nostalgia Superstock committee member Andrew Bishop, we hope you all have a great day.
Dragsters at Hal Far.
19th November: You can see today's action at Hal Far Raceway, Malta, live streamed at this link.
Yesterday, the D4 class for four and six cylinder dragsters produced some great times in qualifying which, thanks to the Malta’s 4-Cylinder Dragsters Facebook page is listed as:
Thanks to Andrew Green who has sent photos of Friday at the track which we have uploaded to a gallery at this link. Included is a great shot of 2017 FIA Top Fuel Champion Duncan Micallef on a demonstration run in his Top Fuel dragster tunerd by Rune Fjeld; although he suffered a broken blower belt it was a typically strong launch for the Maltese Lion.
19th November: Happy Birthday for today to Santa Pod Raceway startline marshal Bob Day, to Pro ET racers Geoff Cowley and Tim Stanbury, to Gasser Circus racer and Junior Dragster grandad Tony Pearson, and to FWD racers Simon Crowley and Haider Jalal. Have a fantastic day all!
The Man Cup 46th annual FuelTech World Finals presented by Vance & Hines and Wiseco Performance Products is taking place at South Georgia Motorsports Park this weekend 18th-20th 2022. There is a live stream at this link and you can see a number of videos of action at the event's Facebook page posted by Dragbike.com.
18th November: There is good and not so good news from Hal Far this morning.
The good news is that the video stream of the Malta Finals is now up and running on Facebook which you can see by clicking here. On the positive side there have been some great passes, notably Patrick Cassar running a 6.49 @ 201mph in his Mitsubishi Evo-powered dragster, a new personal best & straight to #1 qualifier in the D4 dragster class. Also, Austrian Hubert Strengberger ran a great 7.229@181mph for a PB ET in his Audi TT, and others which we will add later.
The not so good news is that Clint Fenech suffered a high speed top end accident in his 2jz-engined Pro Import Mustang after a 6.62/207 run. Clint is ok and has been taken to hospital for a precauionary checkup, we wish him the best and send our commiserations on the damage to his car, new this year.
ACU rules changes.
18th November: ACU drag bike championship co-ordinator Ian King reports that the 2023 ACU Rules meeting took place yesterday morning and gives a short summary of changes:
Stilwell features in Hot Rod.
18th November: In the current, 75th Anniversary issue of Hot Rod magazine, arguably the publication that kicked off the sport of drag racing, Nitro Revival sponsor Geoff Stilwell has his 7707 blown fuel land speed roadster pictured in a piece by Tony Thacker entitled The Imperfect Storm.
In the article which pictures a number of other vehicles and a soggy Bonneville, Tony describes the disappointing outcome to Bonneville Speed Week which was cancelled after a number of vehicles arrived to the waterlogged salt flats.
We have documented Geoff's racing season in the news in recent months. Following a successful trip to El Mirage in May where he ran for the first time to a speed of 215mph, Speed Week, the Bonneville World Finals, and the November El Mirage meet were all rained off. We can only hope for better next year so that Geoff is able to attain the 300mph run at Bonneville, and a class track record at El Mirage, on which he and his team has been working so hard during 2022.
Hot Rod magazine is available at all good bookshops and you can see an online version of Tony's article at this link.
18th November: Happy Birthday for to Pro Modified racer Annie Wallace, and Maltese Escort Mk1 racer (competing in three examples of the vehicle at the Hal Far Finals, Kieran tells us) Paul Fenech. Have a great day Annie and Paul.
Drag racing historian Nick Pettitt's latest Youtube upload is the 1989 Cannonball held at Santa Pod Raceway which can be seen at this link. The video, shot professionally but without commentary, includes an interview with Gary Page and the unfortunate accident of Gary Willy who had a major coming together with the crash barrier with his Toyota Funny Car. To read about what happened, there is a great summary on Trakbytes.
17th November: We were saddened to learn of the passing of UK drag racing pioneer Bill Haynes who, we understand from his friend Keith Stacey, passed away last Saturday.
Bill Haynes raced at Santa Pod Raceway, Blackbushe and Wroughton between 1966 and 1977, running a series of dragsters named Konkerer and later Quarter Horse. During his racing years, Bill collaborated with, or raced alongside, other Surrey-based drag racers Tony Anderson, Richard Jarman, Derek Metcalf, Jim Rowat, and Martin Rowat, mechanic John Smith, Keith Stacey and, from Essex, Mick Wheeler.
Keith Stacey said "He was my lifetime friend and buddy for over 65 years and never really had a bad word for anybody. He pulled another red light and left us too early."
You can read Bill's story at this link. We send our deepest condolences to Bill's wife Linah (pictured with Bill at the Blackbushe Pioneers reunion, July 2021) and his family and friends.
17th November: The 2022 Malta Drag Racing Association Finals begins at Hal Far Raceway today, action taking place from 17th-20th November between 10:00 and 17:00 local time (09:00 to 16:00 GMT) with Sunday starting an hour earlier. Whilst there is a huge number of British fans present to enjoy the sun and watch the record field of over 140 vehicles take part, we will be following the event as best we can from back in Blighty. We plan to post photos kindly supplied by Kieran and Andrew Green, also will link to streaming video via the Facebook page of MotorsMT when it comes online. In the meantime photographer Alex Buttigieg has posted photos from yesterday's test session to a Facebook album.
We have produced a spotters guide as last year from the latest version of the entry list which you can download from this link or from our event coverage page.
Hobbs machines go to musuem.
17th November: Thanks to Keith Lee for passing on news on drag bike legend John Hobbs who has loaned his machines to the National Motorcycle Museum.
While on their way to last weekend’s British Drag Racing Hall of Fame gala, John and Cheryl Hobbs had to make an important detour to Solihull, in order to deliver the Hobbit and Olympus to the National Motorcycle Museum. Following on from John’s recent retirement from riding at this year’s Dragstalgia, his two iconic bikes will be on long term loan to the museum. John is pictured handing over the bikes to museum director James Hewing.
These two bikes will make a welcome addition to the drag racing, sprinting and land speed record bikes on display at the countries premier bike museum, which is situated close to the Birmingham National Exhibition Centre.
After safely delivering the bikes, and seeing them set up in the museum, John and Cheryl headed down to the Oatlands Park Hotel, where John had the pleasure of presenting a Bootsie award to the Big Spender team, in honour of his old Dutch rival, the late Henk Vink, at the Hall of Fame awards ceremony.
Pictures thanks to John and Cheryl Hobbs. The National Motorcycle Museum is located at at Coventry Road, Bickenhill, Solihull B92 0EJ, located directly on the J6 island of the M42 motorway.
17th November: Happy Birthday for today to Old School Stockers racer Tyne Blight, Pro ET racer Dan Fulton and VW Sportsman racer Ben Mace. Have a great day guys.
Drag racing is thriving in Romania, and you can see the mainly sports compact style Drag Racing Romania Finals from the wide open spaces of Arad Airport by watching this Youtube video produced by M5Phenomenon, who have also posted a large number of videos on individual cars.
16th November: We were very sorry to hear that Bob Venison, co-builder and racer of Wild Thing Ford Pop raced in the 1960s, sadly passed away on Tuesday 8th November.
Bob's son Neil writes: "Dad died peacefully at home and he was surrounded by his loving family. We take peace in knowing that he didn’t suffer long with his short but brave battle with cancer. You can read Bob and his team mate Brian Gibson's story in Eurodragster.com's pioneer stories. As a family we are so grateful that Eurodragster.com shared the history of Wild Thing.
Photos: Bob Venison; Bob on his dad’s car; Bob with Wild Thing.
"Up until very recently, he was still working on friends' and neighbours' cars as well as maintaining eleven family-owned VW/Audi’s; we liked keeping him busy. After his drag racing career, he still attended the Pod with his wife Maggie, and later with his children Karen and I. As a family we would attend VW shows to show Maggie’s Mk 1 Golf Cabrio. He always liked cleaning the brake dust off those BBS alloys. Before I could drive I found my first car at a VW show which he collected for me a week later. It was a Golf GTi Mk1 lookalike and it wasn’t long before the 1.5l engine came out and in went a 2.0l, high lift cam, head by Doug, Bob‘s brother who did heads for Road and Racing Equipment, RJD Propower, Swaymar and Vulcan Engineering to name just a few.
"My dad knew what worked, so I helped where I could and he helped me begin my quest to win GTI International as the fastest front wheel drive Mk1 Golf over the 1/4 mile. This came in 2008 with the assistance of computer controlled nitrous oxide.
"My sister Karen also has the car love genes, with her first car being a 1970 VW Beetle which she had a full show restoration done with help from Dad, then a Golf GTi Cabrio and now a type 2 VW Surf Bus in which she tours with her husband Matt, who also has a 1961 Cal look Beetle.
Photos: Bob Venison far left, Doug Venison second from right. Brian Gibson far right; Mk1 Golf GTi; Bob on a Greek Island
"Growing up, we were so lucky to have many foreign holidays, this was mostly due to Bob's dislike of the rainy UK weather. After his retirement, he found a passion for travelling to Greek islands, staying on just over 50 and visiting many more. This was down to the excellent weather, the friendly people and the good food and drink. This year he managed to celebrate his 50th wedding anniversary on Lake Garda, visiting Venice with Maggie in August and another three week holiday island hopping in Greece in late September.
"He was a great man and is going to be deeply missed by his family and friends but always in our hearts and memories. Love, the Venison family."
We send Maggie, Neil and Karen, along with their family and Bob's friends, our deepest sympathies.
Andy Willsheer's Nitro Revival gallery.
15th November: Photojournalist Andy Willsheer's final stop on his western U.S. odyssey this autumn was Nitro Revival 5 from which he has kindly supplied a gallery of 235 images from the event organised by the legendary Steve Gibbs and daughter Cindy, with webmaster Don Ewald.
You can see Andy's photos, supported by Lucas Oil Products, at this link or via news, then features from the main menu.
Included are all manner of historic drag cars, including blasts up the eighth mile strip at Irwindale Raceway, where the event was held, photos of the legendary cacklefest which comprised 43 nitro fuelled dragsters and altereds lined up on the strip, gassers and hot rods.
The event is a must-see for fans visiting California and Las Vegas for the end of the U.S. season, next year's dates being 4th-5th November. For details of this year's event, photos of previous events, see the event website at nitrorevival.com.
ACU rules meeting tomorrow.
16th November: ACU drag bike championship co-ordinator Ian King has reminded us that the meeting to discuss 2023 ACU Drag Bike Championship rule changes is to take place tomorrow, 17th November.
Ian says "If anyone has an interest in the championship or who plans to participate in 2023 would like their views, rule amendments or clarifications discussed please drop me a PM via Facebook or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. All communications will be held confidential should that be your wish."
16th November: Nigel Charman wishes a Happy Birthday for today to son James Charman, driver of the Wheeldon and Charman Gotavit dragster and member of the Two Much dragster crew. Have a great day James from all of us at Eurodragster.com.
Sponsor and Pro Modified racer John Tebenham, showing signs of racer withdrawal symptoms, writes: "I'm having a kitchen upgrade. As my NHRA 2022 Mike Janis blower was getting cold in the garage, I thought I would bring it in the warm. The car is next as I have a massive lounge and not many ornaments." Just the thing to put next to the Christmas Tree, JT...
Cheers and tears at BDRHoF gala.
15th November: The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame gala took place last Saturday night at the Oatlands Park Hotel, Weybridge, Surrey and the 200+ guests welcomed new inductees to the Hall of Fame as well as recognising Junior Drag Racing champions and runners up.
Thanks to our Julian we have a further gallery of photos of the event, sponsored by Lucas Oil Products, which can be checked out by clicking here or by clicking on News, then Features in the main menu.
Established in 2006 by founding Chair Stuart Bradbury, the event was the sixteenth induction ceremony celebrating the contributions by racers to the sport's success.
The event started off before dinner with a drinks reception sponsored by Santa Pod Raceway during which the presentation of prizes, sponsored by Lucas Oil Products, to Junior Drag Racing Champions Luke Fulton (winner, Junior Dragster), Luke Mugridge (runner-up, Junior Dragster), Hollie King (winner, ACU Junior Drag Bike) and an absent Casey Holgate (runner-up, ACU Junior Drag Bike).
After the dinner, announced by Paul Wright, BDRHoF chair Lesley Wright introduced proceedings by saying: "A warm welcome to our honoured guests and sponsors to our 16th BDRHoF induction ceremony. I'm really pleased to see so many existing members of the Hall of Fame here with us this evening. Also in attendance are the majority of our selectors who have the unenviable task of choosing those to be honoured each year. I can tell you that during our meetings there are always some very frank discussions and that is fuelled by copious amounts of Keith's coffee. So thank you to Keith for hosting us. This is probably the first occasion in a few years that we haven't had any Americans here. Tony Thacker sends us best wishes for a bumper gala.
"Also our dear friend Ron Hope has sent us a message: "Over the past few months I have tried earnestly to adjust my schedule so that I can attend this year's Hall of Fame dinner. I must report I have failed on all counts so I will not be able to attend. And that comes with great sorrow as I have previously attended all of the HoF dinners since the beginning. All of you are truly friends and I look forward to joining you next year. Even though I have taken my last trip down the quarter mile I will remain involved in land speed records and will continue to compete at Bonneville. Please extend to all in attendance my regret for not being there this year and my intention to be there in coming years. In closing have a wonderful event, my thoughts will certainly be with you”. I was pleased we received this message from Ron who is such a good friend."
Comperes for the evening Colin Theobald and John Price introduced the awards. The first trophies, sponsored by Santa Pod Racers Club, were presented by BDRHoF director Bev Bradbury to the Junior Drag Racing champions listed above.
Following this, the presentation of the new BDRHoF inductees took place with 'Bootsie' trophies sponsored by SPRC.
The late and great drag bike racer Henk Vink was presented by BDRHoF member and motorcycle drag racing legend John Hobbs to and Henk's team members Jan Smit and Nick Dammers. John Hobbs presented the award to Nick Dammers and Jan Smit on behalf of Henk’s family and team.
"This Bootsie has been a long time coming, far too long in my opinion, and it’s going to be presented to Henk Vink for everything he did for drag racing and for all of his achievements. Tonight is going to be special particularly for the principal members of his team who are here tonight Jos Smit and Nick Dammers. Also here tonight are Christine, Henk’s wife, his daughter Nancy, and also his two sons Robert and Martin. Henk Vink was the Flying Dutchman. He was a fierce competitor, he was an astute and successful businessman all of which was reflected in everything he did. He spent an absolute fortune on his racing and he regularly brought over his Kawasakis over, there were many of them and his team was appropriately called Big Spender – everything they did was big.
"Throughout the 70s and 80s crowds came in their 1000s to watch Henk racing his Kawasakis up the quarter mile and later on witness him pilot his record breaking rocket bike. When racing Henk you knew it wasn’t going to be easy. On track he was a formidable opponent but off track he was the most amiable and approachable guy you could ever wish to meet. He always found time to speak to anyone. His competitive spirit and sense of sportsmanship made him stand out amongst racers. I remember one race preparing to race him I broke on the start line. He soloed to the win. Afterwards he came up to me and said John, that’s no good, I want a proper race. Let’s do it again, and that’s what we did.
"I was privileged and fortunate to be able to call him my friend. His contribution to our sport cannot be underestimated. His professionalism, enthusiasm, drive and numerous contacts enabled him to effectively promote drag racing both here, in Holland and throughout Europe. He worked hard to try to build a drag strip in Holland but he ran out of time. Had he had more time his contribution would have been so much greater. I shall never forget our many races together nor shall I forget his absolutely fearless and unique riding style. It’s for all these reasons that I now have the pleasant task of presenting Henk’s Bootsie to Nick and Jan."
Nick Dammers responded “Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is mystery. Live today. And that’s how Henk Vink lived his life. Henk was only 50 years old when he passed away. But he lived his life for 100 years. And now he is inducted into the British Drag Raxing Hall of Fame. And I want to say thanks to everyone who has made this possible. It’s a great honour for his family and the Big Spender team to receive this award tonight on this grand stage. And for us, the team members, it was fantastic to work with Henk and for him for over 15 years. Henk always managed to find the right balance between wanting to win races and having fun with each other. It was a great time for all of us and I want to end with one of Henk’s many one liners – “Never change a winning team”.
Dragster and funny car racer and tremendous supporter of Melbourne Raceway Mark Flavell had his Bootsie presented by commentator and Melbourne Raceway supporter Graham Beckwith.
“Mark has been a wonderful gift to Northern Drag Racing, a gift that has no conception of what a big part he plays. A gift that has helped provide the infrastructure that has helped the sport flourish at York Raceway and latterly at Melbourne. Mark not only gives full support to any work parties but has also provided the actual essentials to run race meetings on the scale of the Christmas Tree and trackside Armco.
"Of course behind the man has been Ann, Mark’s lovely wife always happy to help with race day duties but also mother to children Andrew and Jessica in gratitude to their Dad while continuing the family involvement. Mark Flavell the racer, the grafter, the gift that keeps on giving, it’s a great honour to present Mark with his Bootsie and see him inducted into the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame.”
Mark said “Thank you to the board of selectors for choosing me this year, very much appreciated. My introduction to drag racing came in a weekend drinking beer in Rushden with a bunch of guys from the Polytechnic. We camped at Santa Pod roughly where the dodgems are today and after a late night in Rushden, Sunday morning came and we woke up to one hell of a row going on. To investigate I climbed the spectator banking just in time to see Al O’Connor in the Gasser sidestep the clutch and wheelie away from the line. I have to tell you that was it, I was hooked. That day, walking the pits, I was completely smitten with my new found sport that 24 hours earlier I had barely any idea that it existed. The pits were crammed with homebrewed creations and immediately realised I had found a motorsport that I could, and wanted to, be involved in.
"When I returned to Santa Pod as a 20 year old kid but also as a competitor at our first event. I asked the late John Ledster at the drivers’ meeting could I have a go. My brother Alan was entered and he explained unless I was entered I wouldn’t be insured so no. As the crowd moved off John called me back and asked what car wewould be driving and how fast it had gone. With a big grin on my face I proudly responded “Pop Dragon, and we’ve just gone 19.6!” John quietly said “With a helmet on no-one would know”. Fifteen minutes later I ran my first quarter.
"Shortly after that I answered the call in Custom Car to develop York Dragway. I had a contact with some armco fencing which had been replaced on the A66 in Teeside and I’m not divulging any more information than that. I would collect the Armco and posts at the end of the day unload it and then drive down to York Dragway to drop it off, sometimes doing two trips in a night. I negotiated with the site foreman and for a bottle of whisky they would unbolt it rather than cutting it down. I even gave them a bucket to put the nuts and bolts in. That’s recycling. We acquired all manner of armco and posts to build York Raceway. I still have some posts if I could sell them.
"In the eighties Ann and I went to Edmonton in Canada. We attended eighth mile and quarter mile events at NHRA and AHRA venues, some very good but some so rough we never went back. Saskatoon International Raceway had a dustbowl for a pit area, a quarter mile dragstrip which turned into a single lane shutdown road which then turned into an unpaved road with compacted dirt, that was a real eye opener. So bear that in mind, not all tracks are as good as Santa Pod or Las Vegas.
"Andy Flav came along in ’85 and we returned to England in ’87 and got involved in the family engineering business. I met Dave Grady, probably my single biggest influence in the sport a couple of years prior to our Canadian adventure and shortly after my return to the UK he was on the phone with the idea of promoting drag racing on a national basis by setting up a touring championship racing group and would I help. My thought was that we would run all three rcognised British drag strips but also do shows and live demos. As a founder member I jumped straight in and sought some championship sponsors. The Super Gas Drag Racing Association was up and running. We ran three events at each track and took the best six results. It worked like a dream.
This is how I met a certain young lass Lesley Digby of course now Lesley Wright and now our Chairperson and she showed me how not to be so bone-headed and to compromise and learn to negotiate with people. They were an education and fun days, no, great days. It was all very successful and this led to Lesley and I to be invited to a weekend in Wellingborough by the track promoter to roll out our track machine under the IHRA banner.
"This was the start of the British National Championship. It ran for many years until sadly we lost the venues. Even Roy Phelps took me to one side and told me we were on to a good thing.
"I got round to rebuilding the Hemi Hunter II dragster we won the inaugural Mac Tools SC championship in 1997. We then invested in a blower and the fun really started. It was so quick, almost straight off the trailer we went 7.39 exceeding our 7.50 chassis tag. We were told to slow it down or we were out. Well we went 7.36, put it on the trailer and went home. I sold it and it’s still about.
"Moving on to funny cars, who doesn’t love funny cars and we wanted one. Trev Capewell rang me out of the blue and offered me the Southern Rebel, the ex Leif Helander Starkotter and to this day I say it’s the most fun you can have with your clothes on. Sadly the old Saab body deteriorated to such an extent that we switched it out and it became the Steel River Hot Rod with an ex Jim Dunn Firebird body. I actually met Jim at the Hot Rod Reunion in Bakersfield, Andy Flav showed him a few pics and he was chuffed to see the ex Al Hofmann car still getting down the track. After 46 years I still get excited every time I drive through the front gates be it Melbourne, Santa Pod, Drachten, Hockenheim, Dishforth, Enniskillen, Jurby Isle of Man and for a few years in the 80s, the western Canadian tracks of Edmonton, Calgary, Prince George and Saskatoon. We even did the sprint at Ramsey.
"Currently I’m enjoying retirement but only from my day job and now I consider myself a full time drag racer. I mentioned the huge influence Dave Grady had on me, well another one with his unlimited enthusiasm is Mr Trevor Duckworth he invited me to get involved with the rebirth of drag racing in the North at Melbourne. I didn’t hesitate and, as I do, jumped in with both feet, supplying more Armco, fabrications and doing all manner of things I could turn my hands to. We even built a collapsible startline gantry so as to leave the Mintex test track clear after the event.
"It is now my biggest goal using my skills, passion, time and energies to hopefully grow it into a championship venue. No prep is a challenge at Melbourne in a blown alcohol funny car. While really exciting eighth mile racing keeps the costs from being like Formula 1. The Steel River Hot Rod holds both the ET and mph records at Melbourne so I’d like to take this opportunity to challenge you all to come and take them off me. You’re all very welcome indeed. Let me make it clear, without my wife Ann none of this would have happened. Also on my table tonight my lifelong friends Craig Owen, Steve Metcalf and, I wish, Mal Rigg and of course Andy Flav. Without them I couldn’t run and I’m not sure I would have wanted to. It’s always been the people as well as the sport that I love and for this I thank you very much.
John Wright and Jerry Cookson presented the National Street Rod Association with their Bootsie. NSRA Chairman John Proctor and Mechanise Director Alan Martin accepted the award on behalf of the club. Alan said:
"Colin has said pretty much everything that I had got down on my list of things to say. The history of the NSRA, 2022 has certainly been a momentous year for the NSRA, it’s been around for 50 years and for me it has been an honour and a privilege to be able to accept this award on behalf of all the members of the NSRA past and present and you can rest assured that our links with drag racing will continue to grow over the coming years. It’s a great honour so thank you very much and we’ll see you at the track."
The Stones Drag Racing Team were presented with their trophy by Philip Evans who said:
“I have to write what I say in big letters because being a legend has its problems! When I started racing in 1972 the Stones were already megastars, particularly Tee Rat was the car that brought everybody to the fence when it came down the old fire-up road at Santa Pod. I rember the beginnings of the Escort which became Tender Trap, I think it was called Rudolf initially and it had a red nose and a V6 engine in it and it eventually became the car that DLT ran occasionally as Tender Trap. The Stones were enthusiastic participants in the Pro Comp class and I worked with Dennis a few times in his role as the class rep for the European Top Methanol Racers’ Association, so that was a thrill for me and speaking with someone I considered to be one of my heroes. It’s already been described to you the particular cars they produced and raced, I had written about those so it’s my pleasure and honour to ask the Stones racing team to come up and collect their award and to welcome them to membership of the BDRHoF.
Dave Stone, who was accompanied on stage by Gerry Andrews Trevor Horncastle and Andrew Swan, responded:
They said you’re can’t talk longer than three minutes. There isn’t any way I can explain I can explain this in three minutes, it’s absolutely impossible. So thank you all very much!”
Colin preceded the final, posthumous, induction by saying “It’s a poignant, indeed raw, moment as we mourn the recent death of our inductee, Jon Morton. But what is this occasion for, is it not for celebrating lives in drag racing? And Jon Morton’s life in drag racing most certainly merits celebrating. First on bikes, then in American cars, Jon’s racing career ended abruptly with a heart attack on Thursday 8th September as he drove back to the pits after a Super Gas qualifying session. It is scant consolation to suggest Jon died doing what he loved, but the respect and affection he had earned within the racing community are demonstrated by the two tables of family and friends who join us tonight to celebrate a much-loved life in drag racing.
Jon’s Bootsie trophy was presented by his friend Gary Page to Jon’s son Dan Page, daughter Heide Stanley, Marcella Field and Debbie Stock representing our dear departed friend. Gary said:
"When I saw that Jon was being inducted into the Hall of Fame I rang him and congratulated him he said “You’ve got to come, you’ve got to come” and I said “No problem, no problem” and then literally after I put the phone down Bev rang me and said “Are you coming?” and I said “I’ll come, I can’t miss Jon’s induction” and then a few days later she rang me and asked if I could present the award to which I obviously said “Yes”. And then it was an absolutely devastating phone call to get from Santa Pod that Jon had died.
We had had a family gathering but then I got Covid in Hockenheim and I couldn’t go to see him. That’s the last time I would have seen him. I decided to take some time out this year, otherwise I would have been at the Pod although I know there’s nothing I could have done and just want to thank everybody like Chalky who tried to help Jon, all the staff at Santa Pod, the paramedics were there in three minutes and the police said if he was going to survive that place was where he would have survived. It wasn’t to be, he had had heart attacks before and I was always afraid the next one would kill him and unfortunately it did.
I had the privilege of sharing a house with Jon in Bedfont and we should have had a revolving door on the front of the house because we had so many people in and out of the house all the time and that’s where I got to meet so many people, it was where everyone went, working out in the shed with him on his Pro Stock Bike and going around Europe, it was just fantastic times.
If you knew Jon and didn’t like him, you were an idiot, all the trips we had, going to America. There are so many stories we could tell but going out to Englishtown when it was still going, the first night we were there, we managed to get thrown out of a bar and nearly get arrested because the waitress said “What are you here for?” We were in an Irish bar, and so Jon said “We’re here for the Craic!” She informed the manager who wanted to call the police, so after our first night we nearly got arrested and shoved out of the bar.
"We smoothed that one over and went out to Englishtown and the second qualifying session for the fuel cars was late at night so afterwards Jon decided he wanted a beer which was unusual, so I took him off in the car and we looked for a supermarket, it was this tiny town, because Englishtown it’s really in the middle of nowhere, you couldn’t find it if you were lost, so he went “We’re going to a bar”. It was one of these deals like we can’t see anyone and we open the door and walk in and shut the door and went “Oh sh*t.” It was full of bikers and stuff and Jon said “We’ve got to go in” and it was run by some very nice lesbian bikers, we got talking to them and everything was alright and then somehow we stayed for a pig squealing competition. Jon said “We can do pig squealing” so we had to stay and meet their pig squealing champion but it was so bizarre it was just ridiculous, we went back to the track, but they had said “You’ve got to come back tomorrow”, and Jon being Jon we went back the next night.
"Everywhere we went it was just fun. He was three days younger than me and he used to ring me up and say “Happy Birthday you old bastard”, three days and every time we saw each other we had a cuddle and say we loved each other because he was more like a brother to me. I just can’t believe I can’t see him again. with all his friends and family here I’m so honoured to do this because they asked me after it happened do I still want to do this I said “Yes”. What was going to be a special night has become a very hard one, and Jon is probably laughing his nuts off; it’s just very difficult.
Dan Page said “As you can see I’m not Jon. But I’m here to say a few words about him and to read out his speech that we found on his laptop. It was saved as hall of fame speech and he had written it before he passed away.
"I found out that he had been inducted into the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame in February this year. In one of his many shopping trips to Lidl he would always pop in to see me if my truck was back and would say hello If not he’d phone and ask where I was. We spoke everyday on the phone, for hours at a time and I really miss our chats. Anyway on this particular day I was in and sat on the forklift and could see into his car. There was the envelope on the passenger seat with the Hall of Fame logo on it. To which I said “you got your call up then!” He went into a panic and had me swear that I couldn’t tell anyone. I then asked him his thoughts on it. He said he was worried that people would think he didn’t quite deserve it. I reassured him that he did deserve it as a Champion on both 2 and 4 wheels, four Super Gas championships leader of the super gas wins also not forgetting Super Comp 8.90 days which he missed out on the championship 4 times in a row coming 2nd! You’re a massive figure in the sport and everyone knows who you are!
"He was very humbled but he said he was just being him and enjoying the Sport he loved with the people he loved! And that’s the Jon that we knew and loved! It was an honour to be my hero’s Crew Chief but more importantly it was the biggest honour to be your son.
Now I’ll read Jon’s Speech as he wrote it.
"My first trips to Santa Pod were in 1966 with my elder Cousin Kerry in the late 60s sat next to one of King "Harold" Bull's sons.
"I carried on spectating till 1974. While working in a raceshop owned by 60s-80s saloon and single seat Race Legend Gordon Spice, a guy came in to purchase a Racesuit for Drag Racing. His name was Robin Wilby and drove a Lotus engined Junior Dragster, I informed him that I was a keen fan of quater mile action to which he told me he needed a push car driver as he only had one crewman.
"This lasted for a while till I went back to continue my unsuccessful motorcycle road racing career. In June 1975 I was in a nasty road accident while pillion on a friends Norton Commando, resulting in life threatening injuries to both of us and my friend riding loosing his arm from the shoulder. We were both at the time working with Brian Johnson. It was while convalescing from this, I was doing some light duties. Brian informed me that when I was better and returning to racing he fancied a go.
"Brian always had nice engineered bikes but as I pointed out, corners were not the best part of his riding skills and having already made some friends in the DragBike ranks I suggested he should take his Rickman Honda to our local strip at Blackbushe and have a go in Street Bike. The rest as they say is history and B.J, as he fondly became known to one and all conquered the World on his Top Fuel Bike following his success in Pro Stock bike.
"I crewed for Brian on and off throughout his racing time both here and in the States and Europe. I also crewed for Steve Woollatt , Rod Pallant and a few others.
"In 1984 I decided to have a go at Pro Stock Bike. The yellow Kawasaki GPZ Bike was built by B.J. and Barry Gannon and crewed by my old school mate Tyne Blight (also still racing today in Old School Stockers). It was ready for the 1985 season, after a steep learning curve that year we went on to win some national events and in 86 my first international race at Zandvoort , picking up BDRA best Bike Newcomer in '85, we won some more in 87/88 including the then called World Finals in 88.
"John Clift built me a new Kawasaki ZX10 pro stock bike for 89 and the advent of big wheel Stockers. A beautiful bike which was short-lived after dropping it through the top end at North Weald. I repaired it and raced 3 weeks later in Sweden running PB’s, but the writing was on the wall and the Kwacks were being left behind by the dominant performance of Suzuki's.
"So a new bike was built for 1990 by Wingnut Racing which I enjoyed for 2 years before selling it to Nick Pepper and building a Funny Bike with Mike Beaumont. This we did for 4 Yyears of fun before calling it a day.
"I had long had big ideas about building a fuel bike which I did with the expertise of Pete Davies and Frank Bratchvogel, it took over 6 years and cost double my original budget. Following a heart attack and other health issues a fuel licence was out of reach, the Bike was sold to Chris Hannam (Cannon) and now I believe is in New Zealand.
"I gave up Drag Racing for a couple of years (apart from crewing for B.J until he retired) for a life on the water with a little sea going motor boat. Boredom set in and I decide to try sportsman car Drag Racing having always loved American Cars and Hot Rods.
"The transition from bikes to cars was made easy by my close friendships with some of the car racers. I purchased a Super Gas/Super Comp '69 Camaro which I was lucky to have much success with over 13 years, thanks more than anything to stepson Dan Page who like most kids today, grew up with computers and understands all this equipment to make people like me look so much better than we are. I have won my fair share of national and club championships but only because of all the great people that have helped me along the way.
"To say I am humbled , honoured and indebted to so many people for inclusion in this fantastic club is an understatement. I am not worthy, but as any racer will tell you, “take em any way you can” and this has to be one of the proudest moments of my life and certainly my proudest Drag Racing Day."
After this emotional presentation, Colin gave Dan a special gift presented on behalf of Dave Gibbons of Tony Morris Carburetors who commissioned it, a print by Graham Durby Durbridge inspired by a Jon Spoard photograph.
Lesley Wright concluded the evening by saying "We all knew that was going to be emotional and and thank you to Colin and to John for charting our course through the occasion. Our thanks to those who make the evening possible, all of our sponsors and those who support our fund raising each year particularly at Dragstalgia and Melbourne Raceway. Thank you also to those who work as directors and advisers behind the scene, Nick Pettitt, Simon Groves, Andy Wheeler, and Jordan Payne. We must also not forget the sport's photographers and videographers who as we have seen tonight enable us to keep our memories alive, and thanks to Julian Parsons and the team from AMP Audio as we've had a really great presentation tonight. A special thanks to Bev Bradbury who has done a great job alongside that of the hotel.
"Over the years drag racing has always looked after its own. My first experience of this was when Roz Prior and Ronnie Picardo went to the spectators collecting money to help bring Al's Gasser back from an accident. This has been repeated for him and for other racers over the years, and more recently we've had this amazing crowd funding effort for Melbourne Raceway which has helped trremendously in the track's development. We often have individual racers setting up their own stalls in the pits for the benefit of charities that mean a lot to them and our commentators have always promoted these activities.
"Then on a bigger scale we saw Ian Marshall and Holley along with the Santa Pod Racers' Club raising money for Blood Cancer UK on behalf of our dear friend and Hall of Fame member Paula. A few short months ago the drag racing family yet again came together in a show of support for Hayley Hadfield and Andy and Purdie who are the family of our sponsor Team Twister. Darryl Bradford, Craig Dixon, Andy Thetford, Sue Ponsford, Elaine Hancock, Keith Bartlett and many others too numerous to mention in person all collaborated with fund raising ideas for the two charities who are providing support to Hayley and we've seen an auction and a raffle being held and I can tell you that these have raised a staggering amount of money. Putting these all together was no mean feat but it was done spectacularly and to show all your appreciation for his efforts would you please welcome back to the stage to collect a special appreciation award from the BDRHoF Colin Theobald."
Colin came up to receive a special trophy. Readers can see the total raised an Colin's comments in yesterday's news update and many congratulations to him and everyone in their fundraising efforts.
The enjoyable evening concluded with socialising and we look forward to next year's BDRHoF Gala on 18th November 2023, details to be announced in due course. The gala was presented in association with Santa Pod Raceway, USAutomotive, NSRA, Santa Pod Racers Club, Straightliners, and Lucas Oil Products. Supporters are Atlantic Fluid Tech, Team Twister, Eurodragster.com, VP Racing Fuels, Custom Car magazine, ChairOffice, Peter Walters Race Design, Paul Whitehouse Art, Shakespeare County Relics and julianhunt.net.
15th November: Happy Birthday for today to Pro ET and Junior Dragster team mum Jan Mugridge, we hope you have a lovely day Jan.
Eurodragster.com Christmas Mart.
14th November: Thanks to all contributors to this year's Christmas Mart, for the person in your life who has a love of European drag racing, supporting those who invest their lives into our sport:
Parts and consumables
Thanks to John Iuga of Old Hall Performance has a comprehensive online store on which you can use the code DRAG22 to get 10% off your first order. The main items being offered for discount are Red Line fully-synthetic auto transmission fluid, VP Racing Octanium to increase your fuel's octane numbers to increase power/avoid knocks, VP Racing Fuel Containers, Red Line WaterWetter to reduce coolant temperature, Mechanix Wear black gloves, and AMSOIL 20W-50 Synthetic V-Twin Motorcycle Oil. More details and prices are available by clicking on the image.
Other items available from Old Hall Performance without discount include the range of VP Racing Fuels and additives, Red Line synthetic race lubricants, AMSOIL Synthetic performance oils, Lifeline motorsport safety products, Mechanix Wear Industry leading hand protection, Heatshield Products thermal insulation and Gold Plug Magnetic sump plugs. To order, go to oldhallperformance.com.
Chris Eyre of DBF Photography says "For this Christmas I have 5 different drag racing calendars on offer featuring: nostalgia cars, fuel cars and bikes and sportsman racing. I have international shipping available and am currently working on distribution to more countries." You can see all these at this link. See below for photos of Chris's calendars.
Photographer Kenzie Taylor has calendars now made and ready for dispatch. He says "Thank you to all those that have ordered and paid, these will be on your way to you soon. If you would like one of these Calendars they are £14 supplied and delivered anywhere in the U.K.
"There are 2 designs, one is based on the excellent U.K. Topspeed street eliminator series and the other is a selection of particular photos chosen from throughout the year, taken at Santa Pod Raceway. Deadline for payment for the next batch is 15th November so keen readers will need to hurry.
Payment can be made via PayPal to email@example.com or Nigel.firstname.lastname@example.org. Please state which design and postal address where you would like it to go. Please FB message Kenzie for bank transfer details or his Andover address, where you can pop by and see him if you would like one for cash.
Event coverage sponsors John Woolfe Racing are offering a 5% discount on all of their in-stock books until 31st December 2022. JWR have also kindly set up a discount code for Eurodragster.com readers which gives them an extra 5% off if they use the code "eurodragster" (minus the quotations) at checkout. You can see the books offered at this link on JWR's website www.woolfe.com.
Our good friend Jim Kelly formerly of VP Racing Fuels and now an author, has released his latest novel Spy Driver which you can order via his website jkkelly.com. Spy Driver starts with a near-fatal crash in the woods of Vermont after which the protagonist Bryce Winters embarks on a successful career in NASCAR and IndyCar racing. A chance encounter with a billionaire with dreams of an F1 championship takes Winters to the highest of international racing highs—at any cost—he is thrust into a clandestine world as a spy for the CIA...Ron Capps, now three-time NHRA Funny Car World Champion, said of Spy Driver "I loved the mixture of a roller coaster mystery and racing while intertwined with the travel."
Darren West of Power Race Graphics writes: The RAD Design Lines mission continues to inspire and encourage young people to unleash their creativity! All stocked up and ready to ship are our very popular RAD Design Lines colouring books. There are 3 books available in the series - Our latest release, 'Bugs, Buses and Campers' featuring custom and drag bugs, early split buses, panel vans and late model campers. 'Funny Cars' featuring some of the most popular Nitro and Methanol funny car body styles in the history of the class. 'Door Slammers' featuring the wildest door cars on the quarter mile the Pro Mods, plus a supporting cast of popular body styles across the classes.
Printed on heavyweight high quality paper, the colouring books come with logo sticker and are posted in rigid card envelopes. Great Christmas stocking fillers for drag fans and the colouring mad kids! Shop now at www.raddesignlines.com.
If you enjoy the two-wheeled action, or know someone that does, then Keith Lee’s book on the early years of drag racing and sprinting will make an excellent Christmas present. Covering the time when John Hobbs first started competing, which coincided with the birth of Santa Pod Raceway itself, through to his eventual retirement, this heavily illustrated hardback book is very much more than just the story of this legendary competitor.
It is a rounded look at the events going on in this vibrant time for racing. Twin-engined bikes became popular, but the influx of Japanese-based engineering was also becoming a threat. The top competitors of the era are acknowledged by this photographer, writer and commentator, who was fully involved in the scene, and in a unique place to give an authoritative and entertaining account of these formative times. when the Hobbs machines - Olympus and the Hobbit - became two of the best known names in racing.
The rise of Dragstalgia, which showcases some of the historic bikes covered in the book, is also included within this heavyweight history of the two wheeled legends of our sport. At 208 pages, filled with some 90,000 words and more than 360 photos, this is an excellent addition to any drag racers book shelf.
John Hobbs and the Age of the Twins is available by mail order for UK delivery only, priced at £32 including delivery. For secure ordering via Paypal link, go to keithleeimages.co.uk to order a copy.
Our good friends at Zeon video are selling DVDs of previous years at Santa Pod Raceway, with great quality pictures and commentary from the finest in the sport. UK shipping is now free and generous multi buy discounts are available - if you buy 5 or more there is a 30% discount.
Illustrated are the 6 exciting DVDs from the archives of Zeon TV, with some of the best drag racing action from the last 20 years at Shakespeare County Raceway and, of course, Santa Pod. The titles comprise Street Eliminator, Outlaw Anglia, Pro Modified, NFAA Fuel Altereds, Hot Rods at Shakey and Mopar Euronationals.
Helen Todd of Zeon said "We have put some of the old titles back to 2006 on there that we haven't had listed for a few years, on the basis that when they're gone they're gone." So if you want these DVDs the message is to order sooner rather than later. Zeon's web site is at www.quartermilehigh.com.
Santa Pod Raceway has a range of gift cards, gifts and branded championship apparel which you can buy online from the Santa Pod shop.
Hayley auction and raffle raises huge amount.
14th November: Thanks and congratulations to Colin Theobald who was honoured at the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame gala on Saturday for his part in a spectacular charity fund raising effort during 2022. Colin writes:
Over the last 5 months the Drag Racing community really came together as one to raise funds for 2 charities in support of one of our own who is fighting Pancreatic cancer. Hayley Hadfield is one of life’s beautiful people inside and out and it’s just not fair who Cancer picks on. Her husband Andy and daughter Purdie along with other family members and close friends are fighting with her and giving amazing support but what has really boosted them is the love, strength and incredible generosity the racing family has given.
What started as a T-Shirt that Darryl Bradford wore at Dragstalgia culminated with a raffle the day after Flame & Thunder at the end of October. Darryl’s T-Shirt inspired Craig Dixon of Altered Tees Apparel to come up with a brilliant logo that became so recognised and seen on many T-Shirts and stickers making their way onto many race cars and bikes. Pam Dale completed a sponsored 7 mile swim raising over £1000, Sarah Howells and Mark Coulsell completed a parachute jump and raised £1500 so we were truly on our way. Craig was having to print more and more shirts as the demand was so high.
The auction of Drag Racing memorabilia and experiences along with some other incredible items at the SPRC National Finals was the absolute highlight and the astounding amount of just under £22,000 raised on the night will be a memory and an occasion that everyone there will never forget. We ran out of time after 3 hours of the auction had items left over, so a raffle was organised and drawn the day after Flame & Thunder which itself raised over £2000.
Last Wednesday all of the funds were in, added together and on Saturday at the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Gala evening we could finally announce that the total amount raised was a staggering £32,512.86 which will be split between The Christie NHS Trust and Pancreatic Cancer U.K.
Hayley, Andy and Purdie were blown away with the incredible total and a thank you here just doesn’t really convey the absolute love, support and strength this has given them all and has been a real boost to their morale. The auction evening will forever live in their memories as the time when the whole racing family came together as one.
Personally and from a team of great people that somehow came together to pull this off we cannot thank you all enough. To all of the people that bought T-Shirts and stickers that raised thousands, to every racer that carried the logo on their cars and bikes, to everyone that supported Pam, Sarah and Mark on their endeavours, to everyone at Santa Pod Raceway that gave support way beyond what could ever be even dreamed of, to every company and everyone that donated items and experiences to the auction and those who bid on them, to everyone that donated to Nikki Marshall’s fabulous baking (more please) that raised hundreds of pounds, to everyone that bought raffle tickets and of course to everyone that signed the presentation frame without knowing what was going in the middle of it for the presentation to Hayley & Andy. To Craig Dixon, Elaine Hancock, Andy Thetford, Susan Ponsford, Oz Wright & Pete Franklin, thank you, thank you, thank you. Thirty Two and a half grand...unbelievable. Love to you all, Colin.
14th November: Happy Birthday today to Barney Campbell, head of Box Lane Video Productions who produces streaming video for Santa Pod Raceway, have a great day Barney!
Andy Willsheer's British Drag Racing Hall of Fame gallery.
13th November: In association with Lucas Oil Products we have posted a gallery from yesterday's British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Gala.
The gallery by photojournalist Andy Willsheer can be checked out by clicking here or by clicking on News, then Features in the main menu.
Pictures by our own Julian and an accompanying report will be posted in a day or two's time.
13th November: Happy Birthday for today to Wild Bunch racer and Junior Dragster dad Mark Coulsell, Street Eliminator racer Elliot Day who reaches 18 years of age, 2022 Top Methanol Champion Sandro Bellio and former Top Fuel Dragster tuner Per Andersen. We hope you all have a great day.
The latest November 2022 issue of Revolution, the official magazine of Motorsport UK, there is an interview with Top Fuel racer Susanne Callin. In the six page cover feature, Susanne describes what it is like to drive in the top echelons of the sport and husband and Santa Pod Raceway CEO talks about their family's involvement in the sport. You can see Revolution free at this link (go to page 10) or go directly to the article at this link.
FIM-E rule changes for 2023.
12th November: Thanks to FIM-E Dragrace commission member Job Heezen for publishing details of rule changes for 2023 after their annual meeting. Job emphasises these decisions will only be valid with immediate effect after the FIM-E management council meeting on 13th December 13:
12th November: We wish a Happy Birthday for today to Santa Pod Raceway timekeeper and etslips.co.uk webmaster Adam Bentley, Top Doorslammer racer Stefan Jansson and Renault 5 FWD racer Peter Cole. We hope you all have a great day.
Good luck and stay safe to our European racers who have qualified for the 57th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals being held at Pomona this weekend. Top Alcohol Funny Car racer Ulf Leanders from Sweden qualified second with a great 5.426/267.06, and expat Norwegian Julie Nataas qualified 15th in Top Alcohol Dragster with a 5.325/267.00. The first two rounds of eliminations for these classes are set for today with semi finals and finals tomorrow. Good luck also to Markus Svensson from Sweden who is through to round 2 of Stock Eliminator. You can follow the NHRA Nevada Nationals at www.nhra.com or www.dragracecentral.com and see the stream live on nhra.tv (subscription required).
Report from DRU Trophy Ceremony.
11th November: Thanks to Markus Münch for sending a report on the Drag Race Union Trophy Ceremony held on 29th October at Hillbilly Heaven, Bitz, Germany:
Hillbilly Hellfire Racing once again hosted the championship celebration. Bitz, on the Swabian Alb, attracted teams from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, England, Holland, France and Spain. Very international, that's how we like it.
DRU, Drag Race Union. By drivers for drivers. The Supro ET Challenge has been around since 2008, followed a little later by the Pro ET Challenge. Ride together, celebrate together. That's still the core of it all. More than 20 teams were registered for each challenge, and even more than 30 teams at Pro ET. A nice hard core has developed over the years, but it is always open to new comrades-in-arms. The first three of each challenge got a fantastically nice trophy, up to fifth place there was still prize money (yes, the DRU pays out prize money annually. This time €7000 was distributed among the first five of both competitions). There were also a few goodies such as mugs, desk calendars and photo prints on canvas from the teams.
The celebration was officially opened by Jonny Niesner at around 6 p.m., who also opened the fantastic pulled pork buffet. Smoked for 24 hours, 45 kilos of the most delicious pork, with fries, salads, then desserts and cakes. Everything for a slim 30s, including a shuttle service to and from the respective hotels. Then the practice tree games began for the €500 prize of Hoosier tires. Rilana Dold won ahead of Janine Petzold, third was Niek de Kruif.
Janine Petzold was able to pocket the 100 euro bill sponsored by Glen Pallant for the "first perfect RT". Congratulations on that too. This was at Clastres in July, round two against Ronnie Mercer.
The Challenge participants were honored, special congratulations to the winners of both competitions:
Super Pro ET: 1st place, Angel Romero (Spain), 2nd place, Billy Gane (England), 3rd place Alain Dürr (Switzerland)
Pro ET: 1st place, Armin Widmann (Germany) 2nd place, Martin Weikum (Germany) 3rd place Janine Petzold (Germany)
The Extreme Outlaws (XO) also belong to the DRU, but did not have a winner this year, were only sporadically to be found on the racetracks, which will certainly change in 2023.
The entertainment program consisted of The Lonesome Dragstrippers, Pump Gas (with acoustic set) and then until 4 o'clock in the night DJ Ernie with great music and karaoke interludes. There was a lot of dancing.
Many thanks to the Hillbillys for preparing the hall, repairing the trophies, smoking the meat and preparing the salads. Getting, preparing and serving the delicious drinks, as well as cleaning up afterwards. Not only are you great, you're definitely the best. Thank you, and bow. Because four o'clock wasn't the end. Bar operations continued non-stop until Sunday noon. In the morning around 11 o'clock Harry Kempenaar performed a few Elvis and Cash numbers, which was great for a morning pint.
If you haven't experienced it, you've missed it, there may be a next time in Bitz, but for now we're looking for another location, which makes this evening even more special.
Also a big Thank you to our 2022 Sponsors and supporters: Billy Gane Motors, Geiger Cars, Rechsteiner Bedachungen, Race Point, Spedition Schumann, Eisenhauer KFZ Service / Hughes Getriebe Service, Jens Könnecke Fahrzeugtechnik, Team 74 Bruckmüller, Pats Postkarten, Garage Ehrismann, Lexpower, Dragmag.de, CG Design, Sacotec Pulverbeschichtungen, Schwefel Garage, M&F Montageservice, Hillbilly Hellfire Racing, Hoosier Reifen Deutschland.
Thank you for your company, Markus, Jonny, Oli and the DRU.
11th November: Happy Birthday for today to Santa Pod Raceway marshal Nigel Anniwell, Old Skool Ford racer Steve Dowling and drag bike racer and 2XS Drag Racing Team member Tanya Hardy, we hope you all have a great day.
Happy Wedding Anniversary to Ian and Nikki Marshall, also to Kev Charman and Lizz McCarthy-Charman and to Carla Pittau and Rick McCann. Have a great day!
New videos uploaded recently include Kieran's Youtube footage from Flame & Thunder, on VWDRCTV Youtube channel's VWDRC Summer Nationals 2022 Qualifying, also Nick Pettitt's Youtube channel has video of Barry Sheavills and Keith Bartlett at Santa Pod back in 1998 plus Phil & Frank Brachtvogel's Quarter Scorcher Top Fuel Bike from the same year.
Swedish win at CHRR.
10th November: Thanks to photojournalist Andy Willsheer who has the story of the first European since Nick Davies in 2017 to win at the California Hot Rod Reunion last month, Swede Joacim Ljungberg, who was victor in 7.0 Pro:
Following a long cessation of racing due to Covid-19, Joacim and crew of the distinctively-wrapped, blown ’23T caught the “ first available flight” from Sweden to the States in order to prepare for the 2022 season, kicking off with the Funny Car Chaos opener in Ennis, Texas. The team then spent periods of racing both in Sweden and the USA, flying back and forth before completing the overseas tour with an appearance at the NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series wrapper at Famoso Dragstrip, where they qualified #17 in a field of 21 entrants.
Joacim said “it was okay for us, I enjoy competing in big fields which we don’t really have back home,” but following five straight win lights during the course of eliminations at the popular California Hot Rod Reunion the group was delighted to participate in the winner’s circle celebrations conducted amidst the gathering gloom of Sunday. Securing both the event victory and Heritage series tall trophy certainly made for a double delight and the team eagerly looks forward to heading home for the winter break before hopefully preparing to again return to the West Coast in the spring of 2023 in order to begin defending their prestigious championship win. We wish them well.
British Drag Racing Hall of Fame traffic bulletin.
10th November: Thanks to Robin Jackson for a reminder that the sold-out British Drag Racing Hall of Fame gala for 2022 inductions will be taking place this coming Saturday 12th November starting with a reception at 17:30 at the Oatlands Park Hotel, Weybridge, Surrey and a notice about potential traffic problems:
"Guests attending the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Gala this Saturday, 12th November, are advised to pay close attention to traffic information. As many will be aware, Just Stop Oil protesters have been targeting the M25 motorway this week and causing traffic jams lasting several hours. The Gala location, Oatlands Park Hotel at Weybridge, Surrey KT13 9HB, is a short distance east of M25 Junction 11, but other routes are available."
10th November: Happy Birthday for today to former Pro Modified and Top Fuel racer Linda Thun Tønseth, Pro ET crew member and longtime fan Dave Buckland, Pro Doorslammer Cortina Mk3 racer Darren Peart and Maltese Bike racer Leslie Said. We hope you all have a fantastic day.
Greek championship finale this weekend.
9th November: The final event of the Panhellenic Drag Racing Championship to be held at Agrinio this weekend, 11th-13th November has several racers in the European Front Wheel Drive league table and Super Street Bike quickest times list on drdb.eu. There are also racers from East Europe hoping to challenge local racers in the most competitive car class.
Dimitris Panitsas will be looking to improve on his best of 8.403/167.17mph with his 20vt DSG equipped VW Golf (pictured), these times being the track record for FWD cars. Petros Taxopoulos who raced in the UK for a couple of months in 2022, has a best here of 8.499/133 and Fotis Xondropoulos with his Peugeot 106 has a PB of currently email@example.com and is also in the FWD table, looking to move up.
Among visitors Andrzej Majchrzyk from Poland races a 9 second naturally aspirated RCA Motors Honda CRX and has a personal best of 9.882/136.47mph. Cogu Nicolae (BMW diesel) from Romania and Mensur Redzic (BMW M5) hail from Croatia are in the Index 11 class.
In the bike ranks, the entry list includes 67 bikes across eight classes. Bikes to watch out for are Grygoris Kyrou (Super Pro) who ran 6.930/186 at the October event, Dimitrios Gkosios who ran a pair of 6.9s in October, and Super Street Bike racers Sam Mavromatis (pictured) and Bilas Theocharis both of whom ran in the low 7.1s in October.
You can see a live stream of the Agrinio race on Youtube at Sportal TV and we will post a link to the results to be published on the Proaction Racing website.
Malta entry list and running order published.
9th November: Malta Drag Racing Association secretary Konrad D'Anastasi has published the entry list and running order for the November event on the Malta Drag Racing private Facebook Group. We will prepare a spotters' guide in time for the event which takes place 17th-20th November at Hal Far Raceway and to which a sizeable British contingent will be travelling.
On the subject of British racers travelling to Malta with race cars, Konrad says "all racers coming over from the UK, please dont forget to get your ATA Carnets sorted with your local shipping agents before you book your cars over, or else once they arrive they will be held by customs and you have to pay in full as if the car were being imported.
"The ATA Carnet allows temporary importation from a non-EU to EU country without having to process a Customs entry/declaration upon arrival. Besides a Carnet costs a fraction of the price compared to full importation, apart from the fact that your cars will not be held by Customs. "One last note, it is very important to declaire not just the vehicles, but also any tools, parts, oils, fuels etc on the Carnet so you wont have any problems with Customs. Thanks and good luck to all!"
The Malta event will be the final major race in Europe in 2022. As well as a large number of doorslammers, there will be nine of Malta's 4-cylinder dragsters that can run in the six second zone and 2017 FIA Top Fuel Champion Duncan Micallef will be making exhibition passes on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. In addition to the four day race there will be a private testing day on Wednesday 16th November.
9th November: A belated Happy Birthday to Top Alcohol Funny Car crew chief Jörgen Leanders who is preparing for his car's third race in as many weekends, driven by brother Ulf at the NHRA Finals in Pomona. All the best to Jörgen and the team.
Southern California Timing Association have announced that the November meeting at El Mirage due to be run on 12th-13th November has sadly been cancelled due to rainfall. We commiserate with all racers who planned to attend including Nitro Revival sponsor Geoff Stilwell, and can only hope the list of 2023 Land Speed Racing dates in 2023 that we announced on 3rd November is fulfilled.
Results from the Haltech World Cup Finals race last weekend at Maryland International Raceway can be seen at this link and, if you're still wondering why all the fuss, some great videos from a startline perspective have been posted at Youtube Channel TheRacingVids, showing the atmosphere admirably.
Nïamh to join Circus.
7th November: UK Nostalgia Superstock committee member Nïamh Frances Smith has announced she will be racing in the Gasser Circus in 2023, and has bought Nick Brook-Langham's Nogbad The Bad car:
"On Saturday 5th November me, my partner Jake and his dad travelled down to collect the latest racecar to join the Cawthorne/Smith stable; the infamous Nogbad the Bad Austin Devon that races with the superb Gasser Circus. For nearly two months now, we have had to rebut questions on why our Ford Fairlane that I raced last season in Nostalgia Superstock and my MGB GT both mysteriously went up for sale less than an hour after Nogbad the Bad appeared for sale on social media, we weren’t exactly subtle and so of course many people guessed the reason, while others we left guessing.
"When the car popped up for sale, there wasn’t a question whether we needed to sell a couple of cars to gather some funds for the car; for years now the Gasser Circus has been a class both Jake and I have wanted to race in, and some may remember our failed project ‘Kwik Magic’ which was intended to be a ‘Fred Hurst’-esque Barracuda gasser. Nogbad was the realisation of that goal.
"I’m sure most readers of Eurodragster will know some of the history behind the car, or at least seen it run, piloted by ‘Nervous’ Nick Brooke-Langham for many years now. He has owned it for a long time, and transformed it into its current guise as Nogbad around 15 years ago. The history of the car goes back to at least the late 70s and into the 80s when it was hot rodded, and owned by Mike Taylor. There’s a lot more to the history of the car that I am yet to learn, and the Brooke-Langham family have so many great stories and memories of the car, including a trip to Finland with it and, of course, many years on the track.
"My intentions of the car are obviously to race it with the Gasser Circus for next year. The car handily came with a 351ci Cleveland motor which, all being well, will get fitted soon. Other than that there really isn’t much that needs doing to the car except some minor cosmetic changes: some small bits of paintwork and signwriting. I also intend to return it to the street, with some additions to help it pass an MOT such as an exhaust, so I can also take it to car shows. All that’s left to do then is just to really enjoy this car, which I know we definitely will!
"Thank you to Nick Brooke-Langham for being a great custodian of this historic car and for allowing me to see it through the next chapter. Can’t wait to have a match race with you next year!"
Feature: SEMA Show gallery.
7th November: Thanks to photojournalist Andy Willsheer for providing a gallery of photos from the SEMA Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center which you can see by clicking here or by clicking on News, then Features in the main menu. We thank Lucas Oil Products for their sponsorship of our features.
You can check out Andy's SEMA Show pictures by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
7th November: Happy Birthday for today to former Eurodragster.com Editor Tog, have a great day on your postponed birthday trip from last year from Simon, Julian, Kieran, Diana and Kirstie. Many Happy Returns also to Ain't No Saint builder and racer Lee Johnstone, Super Pro ET racer Robert Doyle and VW Pro Racer Dave Crowhurst. We hope you all have an enjoyable day.
For latest media from Nitro Revival 5 at Irwindale Raceway yesterday click on this Facebook link to ensure you see all the great pictures and videos in chronological order.
Nitro Revival media.
6th November: At Irwindale Raceway, Nitro Revival 5 has been under way since Friday. You can see images of cars from the event on the Nitro Revival Facebook Group at this link, and a number of videos, including an awesome cacklefest, at this link. Also Bob Beck posted a live feed of the cacklefest at close quarters at this link.
For a closer look at the many attending celebrities, go to this post, and for a moving and sometimes funny tribute to the late Dave McClelland, go to this video. Many thanks to co-organiser Cindy Gibbs for capturing the moments and of course to Steve Gibbs for organising the event.
Our roving reporter Andy Willsheer is attending and we look forward to posting a gallery of his photos. We are also sad to report that due to a family illness, our Nitro Revival sponsor Geoff Stilwell is unable to attend. Geoff wishes everyone to stay safe and have a fantastic time at the event which finishes today.
Photo: Bob Muravez sitting in the late Tom Hoover's 1965 Fishbowl slingshot AA/FD. Photo credit: Jonathan Jones.
World Cup Finals qualifying.
6th November: You can see the final qualifying for the Haltech World Cup Finals presented by Wiseco at Maryland International Raceway on Facebook at this link.
Not only are the fields mostly full, but some incredible performances are taking place. For instance, in the quickest Outlaw v Extreme class, the field is between #1 qualifier Natty Racing's 5.712/249.16 and #16 Kalianys Racing's 6.572/224.92. Of these 16 cars no less than ten are powered by Toyota 2JZ derivative engines, displacing a mere 3 litres or so.
We mentioned another record in Friday's update with Carlos Olivo running a new four cylinder record of 5.862/243.46 with a Honda K20 based engine. Another incredible number is the 6.226/221.82 out of a Mazda 13B rotary engine by the El Jefe de tu jefe Fuentes team. And in the street based classes, the 6.826/213.70 by Jonathan Atkins in the Stick Shift class demonstrates some lightning gear shifts.
You can see highlights of the Haltech World Cup Finals at the FloDragRacing Facebook page or shell out on a FloRacing subscription which enables you to view many independent drag racing events including Funny Car Chaos, outlaw Pro Modified and radial tyre, and sports compact events from the US.
Photo: Renegade v Modified entry of Jose Gonzalez, powered by 2JZ, qualified #6 with 6.190/223.80.
6th November: Happy Birthday for today to Walters Motorsport crew and team mum Julie Walters, Top Methanol Dragster racer Petteri Liimatainen and slo-mo videographer Steve Kelly. Have a wonderful day to all.
Drag racing historian Nick Pettitt has posted video of the 1994 Santa Pod Season Opener on his Youtube channel at this link. The video, 55 minutes long, was made for the now-defunct Wire TV channel with commentary by the incomparable John Price.
McLean Racing season recap.
5th November: Thanks to John McLean Jnr for a 2022 season recap with his Suzuki GSX1700 Outlaw Comp Bike, looking forward to 2023:
After a successful weekend testing at the Euro Finals in 2021 which was our only outing of the year, we gathered some valuable data which we were previously missing in order to move forward. During the winter, I made a few minor changes to the bike to try and find a bit more mechanical power and give us a good baseline going into 2022 to try and run for that 7 second pass we had been trying to get for the GSX Nitrous Outlaw.
Unfortunately, we had to pull out of the first round at Festival of Power due to work commitments so that was any chance of running a full championship out the window. So our first round was the Springspeed Nationals. However, it became evident early on that whatever changes that were made in the winter had kind of worked, but now the bike was becoming so violent off the line, that it would wheely almost instantly, and after taking power back out over the course of the weekend, the best we could manage was a 8.25@162mph.
The next round was the Summer Nationals, however, before that, I had to repair all the bits that had been broken after all the wheelies. Going into the weekend, on the test day, Snr managed a solid 8.40 A-B pass at 160mph with no drama’s, however, come qualifying and eliminations, the wheely problem started all over again, then in Rnd1 eliminations, Snr miraculously took his first round win with a 8.70@140mph and a slipping clutch. The clutch was prepped for Rnd2 but unfortunately the bike wheelied violently again to almost 11 o’clock and lost out with a 8.63.
We collectively had a weekend between rounds to all sit around and really look into how the bike was now performing, and between myself, John Snr and Ady, we decided to make some chassis geometry and gearing changes before running the bike again. The health of the motor was still good so there was no issues there, but something was really not right with the chassis.
The double header Greenlight Nationals was a chance to work with the new changes and get some data off the chassis without playing too much with the power. The test day started good, running a couple of 8.3s, then qualifying with a 8.45, then into eliminations, Snr’s fortunes started to change, winning the first round with a 8.35, winning the semi finals with a 8.29, then then losing in his first final by 0.02 with a 8.23@161mph.
Day2 saw Snr qualify in his best position to date, taking 3rd with a 8.11 @ 164mph, but loose in the first round by 0.01 with a 8.09 @ 166.66 mph Last chance to dance, moving into the National Finals and on the test day we all decided that it was time to start getting some of the power back into the bike now we know the chassis is working as it should. 1st pass 8.14@167mph, 2nd pass 8.16@167mph, 3rd pass...7.96@171mph! Not only John Snr’s first 7, but the first non wheely bar GSX1400 in the 7s in the world. Celebration time!
Overnight we checked the bike over again, checked the motor was still good and put a setting in for Saturdays qualifying, in the 1st qualifier the bike, had an erratic bog off the line and then left, running a 9.2, 2nd qualifier, Snr runs another PB and his best qualifying position ever taking 2nd with a 7.84@171mph. Sundays eliminations come and Snr takes 1st round win with a 7.89@168 and the semi final win with a 7.92@167mph and unfortunately was robbed of potentially his first ever event win because of the curfew. However, hands down, our teams best weekends racing ever.
But wait…..there’s more. We then decided to do exhibition passes at the season finale Flame and Thunder, just to celebrate all our achievements this year. John Snr out the trailer runs a 7.97 @ 168mph followed by a 7.93 @ 169mph on his 2nd run making it the quickest bike and 2nd quickest piston powered vehicle on the premises that weekend.
We also decided to run crew man Ady’s new 8.50/ET bike Suzuki Bandit for a few shakedown passes, running a 10.2 and 10.0 respectfully on the motor, while nowhere near as quick as we know itll go, Ady hasn’t ridden a bike in over 6 years due to a previous spinal problem and has to learn his race craft all over again, but after only 6 passes on the bike, we are all very happy to see him back out racing.
A final note from myself, I am very proud of what has been achieved this year with the GSX1700 Outlaw, from an idea I had 10 years ago to starting to build the bike 7 years ago, building a completely new motor configuration that had not been done before, on a chassis configuration that has not been built before, to spending 3 years building a 1 of a kind bike, the bike was debuted in 2018 and hasn’t been the easiest of bikes to understand, damaging some parts, changing other parts, but the last 18 months has really been a turning point in the bikes development and id like to thank Dad (John Snr) for a stellar riding effort, and being persistent in wanting to see the bike perform as it should. And also to Ady who has stuck by us for many years doing his crew duties, of which we would realy struggle without him. There is a list of many people who id like to thank for the support over the years, but you all know who you are, and we are very grateful for the support.
So what does 2023 hold for us? Well, we plan on running the full Comp Bike season, we have already started making a list of changes needed this winter to be competitive next year, and run deeper into the 7’s, we will also have “Spud” out for his first season in Junior Dragbike, and possibly Ady may come out for a select few rounds if he feels up to it. We are also opening up sponsorship opportunities for anyone or any companies that would like to get on board and support us as a team, please get in contact via our Facebook page www.facebook.com/McLeanRacing or by emailing McLeanRacingUK@gmail.com if this is the case and we can cater a sponsorship package to your needs. Thank you finally for all the Santa Pod crew, the marshals, medics, etc who without them, we would not be able to race. See you all in 2023.
Jess going Pro ET.
5th November: Junior Dragster racer Jess Bishop is planning a move into Pro ET next year with the Scud Dragster currently run by Allan Schofield, but with a rich history to it.
Jess wrote: "Its time to say goodbye, being in juniors for the past two years has genuinely been the best two years of my life. I’ve made friends and memories I will never forget and had an absolute blast. The whole time I’ve done nothing but enjoy myself. I can’t put into words how genuinely happy i am with the experience I’ve had.
"I could go on for days about how thankful i am for every single person who has helped me and the team and we wouldn’t be able to have done what we did without others. From getting into finals to losing round one, I’ve always managed to have a good time doing what I love with the people I love and creating a family along the way.
"Thank you so much to my team Paul Bishop and Jordan Smith who have been there no matter what happened.
"I’m going to cut this short and save the tears, but good luck to every junior in the coming years and I won’t be far away at all, so you don’t need to miss me too much (I’ll be practically next door you can’t get rid of me that easily).
"Thank you to everyone and thank you to the car for being an absolute dream. Stay safe everyone, I’ll miss you all."
Crew member for the Scud Dragster Sharon Walters said "It's the end of an era, the Scud dragster is off to the next generation. She's been a fantastic car to us. For us it will be Rough Diamond next year unless Allan finds his next fast dragster."
The Scud dragster is a rebuilt version of the former Hemi Hunter II car which was run by British Drag Racing Hall of Fame inductees the Stones, with Gerry Andrews driving, running a best of 6.59/207. Super Pro ET racer and fellow BDRHoF inductee Mark Flavell bought it in 1996 and did a major rebuild, changing and modifying a good part of the chassis, shortening it to 225" with a new cage. With it, Mark won the inaugural Super Comp championship in 1997 and after running a best of 7.39, sold it to Nick Good, subsequent owners being Paul Brown and Conrad Stanley/Trevor Graves. Thanks to Mark for providing information with the remark "I always said it would hook up on a gravel path!"
Custom Car's December issue.
5th November: The December 2022 issue of the sport's main mass circulation print magazine Custom Car arrived on your Editor's doormat the other day and we are pleased to report the quality of the publication under new owners Assignment Media Ltd has remained high after comments about paper quality were taken on board.
Drag racing coverage has increased with a ten page report on the FIA Euro Finals, penned as usual by Mike Pye with photographs from our own Julian Hunt. A welcome series brought over from the old ownership is the fascinating Auto Focus from Keith Lee, which in this edition focuses on British Drag Racing Hall of Fame inductees the Stones. The extensive CC archive has also given up a story on Chevy V8 engines for drag racing with a cover photo of the Stones' legendary Tee Rat injected Chevy engine. In addition there are also plenty of articles on the hot rod scene in the UK and Europe, with a definite nod to the title's rich history.
You can subscribe to Custom Car for £25 for 13 issues by direct debit, with a free inspection lamp, by going to www.assignmentmedia.co.uk/customcar. When the subscription renews a reduced charge of £42 applies. Or visit your local newsagent and pay the cover price of £4.99.
5th November: Happy Birthday for today to Top Fuel Bike racer and current FIM-E ET record holder Filippos Papafilippou, Street Eliminator racer Tony Higgs, Super Street Bike racer Ross Morrison, Wild Bunch racer Danny Jones, FWD racer Connor Edwards and photographer Alice Fairhead. We hope you all have a great day.
Those who want to watch highlights of the Haltech World Cup Finals presented by Wiseco but don't have access to the FloRacing.com streaming service can go to FloRacing's new FloDragRacing Facebook page. Included is the scary incident involving Bill Colson and David Farlow in X275 vs Hot Rod qualifying; fortunately both racers walked away.
Barriers broken at World Cup Finals.
4th November: Five second runs are the barrier breaking target for doorslammer racers over the world. But when a 5.8 at over 240mph is achieved by a four cylinder engined car, the world should sit up and take notice. In the first round of qualifying at the Haltech World Cup Finals presented by Wiseco held at Maryland International Raceway, Joel Olivo "No War" K24 Honda ran a 5.86sec @ 243mph to become the quickest and fastest four cylinder car on the planet, running in the Renegade vs Modified.
The World Cup Finals is a unique event that has been in existence for 26 years. Organiser Jason Miller was interviewed by Drag Illustrated Magazine which you can read at this link. The bare facts are that almost 350 cars come to race heads-up over the quarter mile at MIR in classes that seek parity between domestic V8 based racers and import four, six cylinder and rotary combinations. Here is a list of the classes about which you can read more detail at this link:
Outlaw vs Extreme (Minimum ET 6.29 1/4 or 4.09 1/8)
Renegade vs Modified (Minimum ET 6.99 1/4 or 4.59 1/8)
X275 vs Hot Rod (Minimum ET 7.39 1/4 or 4.79 1/8)
Warriors vs Tres Cuarto (Minimum ET 7.39 1/4 or 4.79 1/8)
Street Fighter (Minimum ET 7.69 1/4 or 4.99 1/8)
Wild Street (Minimum ET 8.09 1/4 or 5.29 1/8)
Stick Shift (Minimum ET 8.09 1/4 or 5.29 1/8)
Super Street (Minimum ET 8.19 1/4)
Mean Street (Minimum ET 8.89 1/4)
All Motor (Minimum ET 9.99 1/4)
Pro Street Bike (Top 10 from XDA)
Growth in interest for the unique format has been enormous with the event sold out before the first day, and the international flavour is emphasised by 13 countries competing (but none from Europe...yet).
You can see event information at the website importvsdomestic.com and we will post a link to results as soon as they are available. In the meantime you can see footage of the Haltech World Cup Finals presented by Wiseco by going to FloRacing.com at this link (subscription required); coverage starts at 14:00 GMT today.
Photo credit: Faster Motorsports.
Burns' new bike.
4th November: Former 9.50 Bike racer Adam Burns is planning a big move up in classes and made a great start in testing his new MIB Racing Hayabusa at the weekend of the 2022 season at Santa Pod Raceway. Adam told us:
"The bike has been built to super street bike spec, running in E85 fuel as methanol wasn't legal when we started the build in 2019. It runs a Maxx ECU, Owen developments turbo with turbosmart blowoff and wastegate, a NLR air clutch, Hardcore swing arm. The engine has had some trick things done to it, including a custom made wiring harness made by BTC moto. All the exhaust system, plenum chamber/charge cooler and associated pipework was designed and fabricated by my dad Mike Burns and uncle Ian Burns.
"We have tried to make as much of it ourselves where possible. The plan for next year is to run the bike in competition bike so we can keep chipping away at the bringing he time down and giving me time to learn and get comfortable on the bike as I have never ridden anything like this before and is a big jump from 9.50 bike which I ran between 2017-2019. The bike will be coming completely apart over the winter to check everything over and get all the frame powder coated and the bodywork painted.
"We finally got the chance to test out the new bike at Santa Pod. We got 2 passes in due to the weather and I broke my PB twice with an 8.64 at 161mph at Flame & Thunder and then an 8.45 at 164mph at the Sunday RWYB. This has been a long project that we started back in 2019 and to finally get to take it down the track has been so rewarding and relieving (I think my dad watching was more nervous than I was riding it).
"I have so many people to thank for their help and guidance to get us to this point so I apologise if I have forgotten anyone but here I go. This biggest thanks has to go to my dad Mike Burns who without him this would never have happened, he has put so much effort into this build and kept pushing me along when I lost motivation with it. Also to my uncle Ian Burns who has put so many hours in on this bike to get it to where we are today. I honestly cannot thank them both enough.
"Next a huge thank you to Bradley O'Connor who was with us over the weekend. His knowledge and expertise were vital to what we achieved and we couldn't have done it without him. He has been a great help over the past few years supporting us and answering all my annoying questions.
"So many others have helped us in so many ways offering advice and experience to help us along the way. Mark Hope has been great with me over a long period with all the help and advice he has given us and answering all my questions. Dan De'ath has helped us along the way and very kindly sorted us out with some parts at the last minute so we could run this weekend. Jake Mechaell, who managed to sort us out with an replacement part on Saturday so we could run on Sunday and for all the advice he has given. Other shoutouts to Rick Stubbins for getting the frame short necked and helping us set the bike up on the dyno a couple of weeks ago.
"Garry Bowe, Alex Hope, Chris Hope, thanks for answering my questions when we were stuck during the build. They were a massive help. If I have forgotten anyone again I apologise. It's been such a long project I forget what where I am with it at times. It was such a rewarding weekend, we can really look forward to the 2023 season to really see what we can make this bike do."
4th November: Happy Birthday for today to British drag racing pioneer Bob Gleadow, former Super Twin Gas and Wild Bunch racer Martin Holgate, Comp Bike racer and 2022 Champions Chris Neary who reaches his half century and Fuel Altered racer Adam Clayton, also a belated Happy Birthday to former Top Fuel racer Liz Rowland (aka Liz Burn) whose special day it was yesterday. Have a great day all.
Kieran has posted video of the final 2022 Run What Ya Brung day on 30th October at Santa Pod Raceway to his Mk1 Kieran Youtube channel. He says "and just like that, the UK 2022 Drag Racing season is over! This is my footage from the final RWYB day of the year at Santa Pod Raceway which unfortunately ended a few hours earlier than planned due to rainfall but we still had a good couple of hours of racing beforehand." You can see Kieran's video by clicking here.
Eurodragster.com is again running its traditional Christmas Gift Mart early in order to dodge postal strikes and the usual last minute rush. If you have any products you would like to sell to Eurodragster.com readers, please forward details to firstname.lastname@example.org. Previous gift marts have included t-shirts, calendars, mugs, prints, DVDs and even parts for race cars. The publication date for the Christmas Gift Mart will be Monday 14th November.
After 33 years in Southern California Eurodragster.com sponsor Lucas Oil Products is consolidating its operations at its Indiana facilities and closing its corporate headquarters and West Coast production facility located in Corona, California. Lucas's primary production facility will remain in Corydon, Indiana. It will also be moving its wholly owned MAVTV streaming network from Corona, California to Indiana. Lucas joins several organisations in the motor and motorsports industries to move their corporate headquarters and various operations out of California in recent years. (Thanks to Tony Thacker for supplying details).
Samu's Sushi ride at Rockingham.
3rd November: Many thanks to Lotta & Pasi Uponen who have provided an account of fellow Finn and Super Twin racer Samu Kemppainen's recent trip to compete at the Jim McClure Memorial Nitro World Finals at Rockingham Dragway last weekend (part of the American Motorcycle Racing Association championship) on the blower nitro twin of Juha "Sushi" Hintukainen.
"Sushi, who lives in Sweden, is a well known character among two wheels nitroheads. He worked for example with Tak Shigematsu and Donald "DJ" Johnson etc. Sushi has two Super Twin Top Fuel Bikes, a naturally aspirated bike here in Europe and a blower bike in the US.
"Samu raced on Sushi's blower bike at Rockingham. The bike, which Sushi built, has a 168 cid PRP engine and Lenco CS2 transmission. After reaching Florida mid October, Samu first tested the bike in Orlando last Thursday 27th October. In the first run he had a very soft set up and he ran an ET of 7.34s. But unfortunately the cylinder head gasket broke and they needed spare parts.
"Sushi had arranged for spare parts to be delivered from Sweden to the US a few weeks previous, but the courier company lost these parts. So the team didn't have the correct parts. As a result the team had to make many changes to the bike before the Rockingham race, putting different kinds of heads, pistons and cylinders on the engine to enable it to run again. It was a shame because the bike had felt good on the first test run. Worse, the team hadn't any useful data for Rockingham.
"At Rockingham, qualifying was really only testing. The team tried to find a decent set-up, but Samu was in last position after qualifying. In the first elimination round he was against #1 qualifier Randal Andras who had run 6.343/215.72. In the matchup against Randal, Samu's clutch was far too soft and the start was lazy. Then the power came on and his tyre started to smoke. Samu said that he saw how quick Andras was and that's why he came off the throttle, he didn't want to break Sushi's engine. Randal won the race with a 6.313 to Samu's 8.424 and Samu was out.
"Luckily, Samu and his Skull Racing Team got permission to test after the nitro finals. The bike was ok, so of course they wanted to test. The test run was excellent, the clutch set up was still too soft and the start was very lazy, but then it started to happen. The supercharger made a lot of boost down track and the bike went absolutely great in the second half of the track, Samu getting a time of 6.816 at an awesome 248.43 mph. Samu, and Sushi's bike, are back in business!
"Samu said "This was the first full run with a new smaller engine, the old engine was 182 cid but due to new rules it's now only 168 cid. Now Sushi has got a lot of important data for set ups. When the bike started to push it pushed very hard. It will be a very quick bike when Sushi finds a good clutch set up." Of course the result of the race was a little disappointing but in the end Samu thanked the organizer for the race and opportunity to teat. Everything went well, the race itself was great and all the Finnish guys enjoyed being in Rockingham. It was an absolutely great trip and everyone had fun!"
Photo credits: Mikko Haapalainen
'Rents go Racing's new bike.
3rd November: In our write up of the October Saturday Night Special, we mentioned Anna Saskiak of the 'Rents go Racing ET Bike team who, with husband Kyle Rushby crewing, made three test runs on their new Hayabusa. A couple of runs later at Flame & Thunder, the new bike had run a PB for Anna and got into the 9.0s. Kyle wrote:
"Ending the year on a high! We achieved our goals in ET Bike class, mid table and not last! The Rider learned to be a proper racer and we had a blast with our racing family ET Bike UK. Testing the new bike has been a great learning experience, going from 10.4 to a 9.032 at 159.61mph within five runs. It is so easy to ride and lots more power to come. We are looking forward to 2023. Huge thanks to Bradley O'Connor at BTC Moto for the electronic wizardry, help and support and Jake Mechaell at JKE Race Works for building the engine and his clutch magician skills. Also to Sean Mills Big CC Racing for building the turbo and Stuart Crane and Michael Piggott at Warpspeed Raceteam for their dyno work.
"The time has come to sell our old race bike, a proven 9.3s bike with more to come. We will be swapping off front fairings for bare panels and will swap out our Spondon arm for a steel unit, unless the buyer agrees a price to retain it. It's an ideal starter ET Bike or 9.50 bike. If interested get in touch, looking for £7k with steel arm."
You can see pictures of the for-sale bike and keep up with the team at their Facebook page.
Engagement wishes for Holley and Dan.
3rd November: Big congratulations and very best wishes to Sportsman ET racer Holley Walters and Pro ET racer Dan Holloway who have got engaged in Yosemite National Park, California during a trip to see racing at Bakersfield and Las Vegas as well as the Grand Canyon and other romantic tourist destinations.
Site sponsor, brother and future brother-in-law Pete Walters who is part of the family tour sent the above photos depicting Holley and Dan on the Santa Pod rostrum and with engagement ring in Yosemite National Park.
SCTA and El Mirage dates for 2023.
3rd November: Thanks to Nitro Revival sponsor Geoff Stilwell who has forwarded us the dates of the land speed calendar from the Southern California Timing Association:
Speedweek - 5th-11th August
World Finals - 30th Sept - 3rd October
Some of these dates are close to, or the same, weekend as other racing events giving visitors the opportunity to see different races in a (relatively) short period.
Photo of Geoff's 7707 at El Mirage in May from Jay Black.
3rd November: Happy Birthday for today to Super Gas wife and former SCR clerk of the course Tina Moore, Pro ET and Super Gas racer Bob Molden, Junior Dragster racer Kai Cooper and National Street Car Challenge and Outlaw Street racer Ian Walley. We hope that each of you has a wonderful day.
In the US, the 26th annual Haltech World Cup Finals Import vs. Domestic presented by Wiseco will take place at Maryland International Raceway starting today, from 3rd-6th November, 2022. Coverage on FloRacing.com at this link (subscription required) starts at 19:00 GMT today.
Funny Cars and Halloween at NHRA Nevada Nationals.
2nd November: The NHRA Nevada Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway has a unique atmosphere. In recent years, many teams have dressed in Halloween costume's for Saturday's qualifying and eliminations. Thanks to photojournalist Andy Willsheer who supplied a gallery of photos of Halloween happenings and Funny Cars both Big Show and Nostalgia at the event. You can see Andy's photos, supported by Lucas Oil Products, at this link, or via news, then features from the main menu which brings up a list of all features published on Eurodragster.com since 1998.
This year, the event had ten additional nitro vehicles in the form of the inaugural Legends Nostalgia Funny Car series, presented by Red Line Oil, with Bill Windham the mastermind behind it.
The participants for the Legends Nostalgia Funny Car event made the tow from Bakersfield, where they had been competing in the NHRA Heritage Series at the California Hot Rod Reunion the previous weekend to The Strip where they adapted superbly to the conditions - and the 1000ft racing distance they were racing to. Here is a summary of qualifying and eliminations:
Billy Morris 4.764/236.71 def. Tim Boychuk 4.819/233.72
Geoff Monise 4.859/235.60 def. Jeff Gregory 5.120/217.28
Bobby Cottrell 4.742/240.00 def. Cory McClenathan 4.891/226.77
Kris Krabill 4.805/229.51 def. Ryan Hodgson 4.891/233.36
Billy Morris 4.733/235.06 def. Geoff Monise 4.799/237.21
Bobby Cottrell 4.744/236.46 def. Kris Krabill 7.989/91.49
Bobby Cottrell 4.742/238.55 def. Billy Morris 10.099/62.60 DQ red
Winner Bobby Cottrell (pictured top) races for Bucky Austin and has won the NHRA Heritage Series Championship for the fifth year in a row. In round 1, Bobby faced and defeated NHRA legend Cory McClenathan who won 34 Top Fuel races and turned to Nostalgia Funny Cars this year after announcing his retirement in 2019. Cory's crew chief with his Mac Attack Firebird (pictured bottom) owned by Rick Akers is Glen Mikres, who crewed for some FIA teams in Europe a few years ago.
The Legends Nostalgia Funny Car series was seen as a success and Bill Windham and colleagues are in discussion with the NHRA about a series of 8 to 10 races which will be a fantastic addition to NHRA National Events as well as continuing in the NHRA Heritage Series.
Dakota Raceway 2023 dates.
2nd November: Promoter Lee Child has announced the following 2023 drag racing and drifting dates at Dakota Raceway based at Smeatharpe Airfield in Devon:
Winners and quickest runners in 2022 were:
2022 1/8 mile heads up drag race champion: Kevin Headon (1966 Pontiac Le Mans), runner up Pete Lane (Mercury Marquis Colony Park Station Wagon), 3rd place Paul Leworthy (1968 Pontiac Catalina Station Wagon) and Nathan Lang (Nissan GTR)
Quickest street legal time and speed: Simon Cooksey (Nissan GTR Evotune) 9.353/157.09
Runner up quickest street legal time and speed: Corey England (Lamborghini) 9.722/147.88
No Time To Lose.
2nd November: New UK Nostalgia Superstock racer Micky Churchill says his 1971 Dodge Charger Super Bee, the sole third generation Charger in the class, has been completed and now has a suitable name, No Time To Lose. Watch out for NSS93.
"My Charger is pretty much finished over at the Billadeau Speed Shop, she is being kept safe out the weather for winter so she is ready for race season. I am really grateful for all the help and hard work from Dave Billadeau, Chris Goodale, and Tim Holmes, you guys are the kings of metal and after a year it has all come together to help this phoenix rise from the rust and ashes. She is back to her former glory with even more muscle than before!
"The specs are: 493ci big block V8 440 stroker, 850 double pumper 4 barrel carb, 727 Torqueflite auto gearbox with manual valve body and Cheetah race shifter, Dana 60 4:10 gears, heavy duty drive shaft and loop. Roll cage, body reinforcement and safety harness, full drag race setup suspension, fuel system, and ignition. Kick ass paintjob.
"No power steering, no power brakes, no driving assists, no problem."
2nd November: Happy Birthday for today to Funny Car team member and occasional dragster racer Tyler Ashdown, also to Super Street Bike racer Erik Jennes. We hope you have a great day guys.
Contrary to rumours circulating during the summer months, NHRA have secured a ten year extension, to 2033, of their tenure to hold events at the Pomona Fairplex in California, which has acquired title sponsorship from In-N-Out Burger. Whilst the 2023 NHRA season will commence with the Gatornationals in Gainesville, Pomona will host the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals Presented By ProtectTheHarvest.com on 30th March-2nd April, so fans from Europe will have a chance to see West Coast action before returning for the start of the season in Europe.
SPR's final RWYB of 2022.
31st October: The final 2022 Run What Ya Brung at Santa Pod Raceway took place yesterday with several personal bests being set. Quickest pass of the day went to 8.50 Bike racer Dan De'ath who ran a 8.0182/183.65 on his Hayabusa; Dan told us "I was aiming for a 7 but got left short when the weather turned." Adam Burns was testing his new bike about which we will be publishing details soon; his time was 8.4563/164.25 following a 8.6461/161.35 at Flame & Thunder. Michael Gooding bought out his Hobo Racing TL 1000 R Turbo and backed up a 9.0462/147.72 PB from F&T with a 9.0783/147.17.
Pictures of Rob Carter and Matt Davison from Flame & Thunder.
There were several FWD cars hoping to run PBs and Matt "Mr Boost" Davison ran a PB of 9.7115/146.22 in his Honda Civic. Craig Evans took his Raggy Conversions Corsa to within 0.05s of his PB ET by running 9.6196/154.16. Rob Carter's Street Eliminator VW Passat ran a new PB of 8.4835/166.66. Congratulations and well done to all racers who braved the conditions yesterday.
Super Comp racer Allan Schofield's dragster was there for the final time under current ownership and on Sunday it was the turn of SPR marshal Darren Krauesslar to go behind the wheel and ran a creditable 9.9642/140.33 on his first time in the car.
There are other stories coming out of the final weekend of the year which we will be presenting in due course.
31st October: Happy Birthday for today to former Top Fuel racer Pelle Lindelöw and to Jet and Super Comp racer Gerd Habermann, we hope you both have a fantastic day and see you at the track next year.
Drag racing historian Nick Pettitt has posted video of the 1993 European Drag Bike Championship held at Avon Park on his Youtube channel at this link. The footage lasts for almost two hours, a great trip down memory lane. A write-up of this event by Darren West can be seen at Chris Dossett's Trakbytes website if you search FIM Drag Bike, and see many racers who are still participating, and some whom are sorely missed. You can also see VWs and Outlaw Anglias at the 1995 Goodguys UK Brian Burrows Volksfest at Avon Park Raceway produced by Keith Taylor at First Image Video.
Flame & Thunder gallery, best times.
30th October: Many thanks to Julian for supplying photos for our Flame & Thunder Show gallery which you can see by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing-sponsored Event Coverage link at the top of any Eurodragster.com page. As mentioned in our preview, there was something for everyone and over 90 vehicles came along to make their final Santa Pod Raceway passes in 2021.
You can see complete timing data at ETSlips.co.uk thanks to the Santa Pod Raceway timing crew. Below we list the top quarter mile times of the day by vehicle:
In addition to the above, Martin Hill in Fireforce 3 and Roger Goring in Firestorm had a Jet Funny Car match race over 1000ft, Roger the victor 5.2344/237.76 to Martin's 5.6548/183.56.
Heavy rain overnight meant the Santa Pod Raceway track team had a gargantuan task to dry the waterlogged track and shutdown area in the morning. Once dried, the track produced some great times for the vehicles assembled and a few PBs, including Super Comp Bike racer Steve Howe's first seven, Brad Head's 8.17, ET Bike racer Anna Sasiak's 9.0 and FWD racer Ian Pepper's 10.1106/142.61. Several racers will be staying on to Sunday's RWYB which also includes the final Outlaw Street round for cars ineligible for nostalgia events earlier in the season.
You can see video of some of the action from Theo Thompson from the spectator banking at this Youtube link.
30th October: A very Happy Birthday for today to Super Street Bike racer Stephen Mead, Outlaw Anglia racer Phil 'Ginner' Middleton, former Sportsman ET racer Sandie Gibb, German Pro ET Beetle racer André Nahler and Swedish Pro Mod racer Jan Brännvall. We hope you all have a great day.
Nimbus Motorsport's new website.
29th October: Steve Clark of Nimbus Motorsport has announced a new website at www.nnimbusmotorsport.com to celebrate 30 years in business, with a special discount code for readers of Eurodragster.com. Thanks to Steve for continuing to support Eurodragster.com and congratulations on a successful 30 years trading. Steve writes:
Celebrating our 30th year in business we are thrilled to share our brand new website with you all. This new platform has lots of features to make it a much improved experience for everyone, we also have lots of new content lined up for the coming months celebrating the brilliant teams we work with and useful guides for our fantastic products.
We are UK importers for Torco advanced lubricants and have supplied these products into drag racing and other disciplines since we began 30 years ago, using the products for our own projects for more years prior to that. Only supplying products we trust and can recommend, we stock the full range of heat management products from Design Engineering Inc and Thermo-tec as well as the versatile Nimbus Heatshield materials.
To explore the above and more please check out the site, for the next couple of weeks use the code 30YearLaunch at the checkout to get 10% off your order.
Thanks to everyone who has contributed over the years in making Nimbus Motorsport what it is today, we look forward to many more years to come.
See Nimbus Motorsport and other Eurodragster.com sponsors at Autosport International from 12th-15th January 2023.
Kjula Dragway 2022 winners and media.
29th October: In Sweden, Kjula Dragway based in Eskiltuna near Stockholm, continued to develop in 2022 with a series of four races for sportsman classes over its quarter mile surface. The orginasation, headed by Ronnie Palmsäter of the Rod'n Kustom Racing Club, is linked to Nitroz Motorsport (www.razing.se), the Swedish Motorsport Association (SBF) and the Swedish Motorcycle and Snowmobile Association (SVEMO).
The four races were titled Mälardalen #9 to #12 after the valley region in which Eskiltuna is located. The first competition, Mälardalen 9, held 28th-29th May, was a partially wet event. All Saturday was rained out, but organisers managed to complete the entire competition with two qualifying runs on Sunday in glorious weather, it should be added. There were 110 teams on site and 434 timeslips were produced.
The second competition, Mälardalen #10, June 18th-19th unfortunately coincided with the big EDRS competition at Tierp, which made it look difficult at first as drivers, officials and the public might have chosen Tierp instead. There was a certain loss of competitors, but the 100 teams that chose Kjula produced a whopping 726 timeslips!
The third competition, Mälardalen #11, 6th-7th August, was really a success in every way! It rained heavily before but not a drop during the actual competition. This competition was a so-called "sound weekend" where zoomie headers were allowed. There were 141 teams on site producing 956 time cards. There were 14 different vintage cars, some short, some tall, all gnarly. Organisers estimated that it was a crowd record at Kjula Dragway 2.0, now that they also had a motorcycle and a fine car parking lot.
The fourth competition, Mälardalen #12, 17th-18th September, was the final for the year 2022. Records were set in so many ways and on so many levels! 173 teams on site produced 1018 time cards! The weather was a bit unsettled with a light shower on Saturday but all teams were offered four qualifying rounds. No major clean-ups and a good flow made the competition a real success!
You can see the final points for the track championship at this link on the excellent Kjula Dragway website. Congratulations to champions and runners up as follows:
As well as the track championship, Kjula took part in the Doorslammer Tour where points were awarded for Real Street and Street for registered competitors competing in races at Malmö, Lindesberg and Mantorp as well as Kjula. Åke Törnqvist was Real Street champion with Martin Hagström Street champion.
You can see photography at the Facebook sites for accredited photographers Henrik Lindberg and Micke Falk.
If you are looking to see great sportsman drag racing action in Sweden just over an hour west of Stockholm, set your satnav to 635 06 Eskilstuna, Sweden on the following weekends in 2023:
Mälardalen Open #13: 27th-28th May
Mälardalen Open #14: 17th-18th June
Mälardalen Open #15: 5th-6th August
Mälardalen Open #16: 15th-17th September.
29th October: A big Happy Birthday to Santa Pod Raceway PR and British Drag Racing Hall of Fame director Robin Jackson. Have a great day Robin from all of us at Eurodragster.com and your colleagues at the BDRHoF.
We also wish engine builder and Eurodragster.com sponsor Jeff and Belinda Bull of Jeff Bull Race Engines a Happy Anniversary for today.
Santa Pod announce 2023 event calendar.
28th October: Santa Pod Raceway have announced their calendar for 2023 which you can see at this link. SPR's web site will be updated shortly with event details which are promised soon, including RWYB dates. We will publish further details as they become available. Tickets will be available on 1st December.
Fuel altereds at CHRR gallery.
28th October: Further to our race results and video links from the AA/FA competition at Famoso Dragstrip last weekend, thanks to Andy Willsheer for sending a gallery of images from the event organised as the swansong of Ron Hope's driving career, although we will undoubtedly see Ron at the track in future (left: Ron's final race in Rat Trap against son Brian in Pure Hell).
Andy has included two photos of the Problem Child Nostalgia Funny Car team of driver Billy Morris and owner Eddie Knox who is supporting the Hayley Hadfield appeal for Pancreatic Cancer UK and the Christie Hospital Manchester. Announcer Mike English also gave a mention of Hayley's fight with cancer on the Famoso Dragstrip PA at this link. Great to see that Hayley's appeal continues to attract international support following the NitrOlympX dedication by Gary Page and Benni Voss.
You can see Andy's photos, supported by Lucas Oil Products, at this link, or via news, then features from the main menu which brings up a list of all features published on Eurodragster.com since 1998.
28th October: Happy Birthday to Nostalgia Funny Car racer Tony Betts who is on a tour of California and Nevada, taking in race meetings along the way, have a great day Tony from all of us at Eurodragster.com. Also Happy Birthday to all motor FWD racer Jorel Wells, enjoy your birthday Jorel.
Good luck and stay safe to the European racers who will be competing at the NHRA Nevada Nationals this weekend at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Expat Norwegian Julie Nataas will be hoping to bounce back from her DNQ a fortnight ago at the Texas Motorplex. In Top Alcohol Funny Car, Rob Turner and Swede Ulf Leanders will be trying to get into the 16 car field with a full entry of 18 cars this race, fellow Swede Jonnie Lindberg also on the crew of Brian Hough. Markus Svensson will be competing in Stock Eliminator. You can follow the NHRA Nevada Nationals at www.nhra.com or www.dragracecentral.com.
ACU final standings published.
27th October: Many thanks to ACU Drag Racing Championship co-ordinator Ian King for updating us on the final ACU/UK Championship standings.
"After an exciting and exceptionally close season in the ACU UK National Drag Bike Championship, on behalf of all at the ACU I’d like to congratulate the medal winners in the top 3 in all classes and say a very well done to our 2022 British Champions who will be awarded their trophies at the ACU Awards Gala alongside their peers from the across the entire UK motorcycle sporting disciplines. The season saw over 50 competitors from across Europe take part in the five classes staged at six rounds in 2022:
Top Fuel Bike
1. Neil Midgley
2. Steve Woollatt
3. Al Smith
1. Louis Davies
2. Lorcan Parnell
3. David Peters
Super Street Bike:
1. Steve Venables
2. Jake Michaell
3. Dániel Donát Lencsés
1. Chris Neary
2. Shawn Buttigieg
3. Paul Hambidge
Junior Drag Bike:
1. Hollie King
2. Casey Holgate
3. Meg Talbot
"The final points positions can be found at this link.
"I’d also like to thank all the hard-working staff and officials at Santa Pod Raceway, Santa Pod Racers Club and Eurodragster, along with the trackside photographers, journalists, and trackside support for supporting the championship and contributing to its ongoing and longstanding success.
"Thanks, and well done all!"
27th October: Happy Birthday for today to Supercharged Outlaws racer Des Taylor, to Wild Bunch Racer Lee Hartnell who reaches the big four-oh and to former Top Methanol Dragster racer and team dad Paul Ingar Udtian, also a belated Happy Birthday for yesterday to Supercharged Outlaws racer Paul Watts. We hope you all have, or had, a great day.
Flame & Thunder preview.
26th October: This Saturday, Santa Pod Raceway holds its Flame & Thunder season finale, and have lined up a great entry list. If you go to Kieran's Facebook Mk1Kieran video page you can see footage of several of the entries.
There will be five Jet cars including Martin Hill in Fireforce 3 (Funny Car) and Fireforce 5 (Dragster), with Roger Goring in the Firestorm Funny Car, Julian Webb in the Split Second dragster and Perry Watkins in Oklahoma Willy.
Eleven exhibition vehicles under the title Quick & Quirky include no less than six Drag Karts, the two minis of Nathan Dobson and Stuart Meads, the mini tractor of Danny Key, the turbine powered Jeep of Matt Wright and The World's Fastest Shed of Kevin Nicks.
Drag Car demos include 69 vehicles from most classes. There are will be representatives from Gasser Circus, Pro ET, Front Wheel Drive, Competition Eliminator, Street Eliminator, Outlaw Street, UK Nostalgia Superstock, VW Pro, Outlaw Anglia, Sportsman ET, 4 and 6 Cylinder, Junior Dragster, Taz Racing, Old Skool Fords and Run What Ya Brung racers.
Drag Bike demos are from Super Street Bike, Comp Bike, 8.50 Bike, 9.50 Bike, ET Bike and Run What Ya Brung racers. A full entry list can be seen at this link on the SPR website.
With much additional entertainment in the Live Arena, Live Stage, Drift Arena, Trials Bike Arena and Aero Display Arena booked into the programme, there will be something for all the family. After the track closes at 8pm, there will be a live band Slim 47 in Fuelers Bar. SPR's gates open at 8am on 29th October and you can get tickets at this link. Weekend Admission includes camping for Friday and Saturday night.
We plan to post a gallery from the event. Whilst there will not be a livestream from the event, you will be able to keep up with the commentary by following on Nitro FM.
TAFC rules changed by NHRA.
26th October: NHRA has re-evaluated its rules for their Top Alcohol Funny Car class and made a number of revisions for 2023 in order to increase the number of competitors and make the class more attractive to the many cars that do not currently compete in the category.
Chief amongst these changes is the introduction of injected nitro funny cars, a combination last allowed by the sanctioning body in 1981. Injected nitro Funny Cars will feature a 2,300-pound (1,043kg) minimum weight, and will race at 5.35 pounds-per-cubic-inch with a maximum of 90 percent nitromethane. Their supercharged methanol burning counterparts race at 2,200-pounds (998kg) with roots superchargers and 2,300lb for screw blowers and a 5.00 pounds-per-cubic-inch weight break. Engine capacities will be set at 456ci for injected nitro, 528ci for screw blown cars and 565ci for roots supercharged cars.
Discussions between the racers and NHRA Top Alcohol Rules Committee Chairman Josh Hamming concluded that changes need to me made for the class to increase participation in the class. Notwithstanding that issues of parity may arise with differing combinations in the same class, as was the case with Pro Stock in the 1970s, the introduction of the new unblown nitro combination is somewhat unusual in that no active teams have undertaken a successful testing programme with the new combo. In connection with this we note the clutch rules for the new combo is a manually operated four disc clutch (three discs are allowed for supercharged cars) which is seen as a tricky area for tuning by their A/FD cousins.
Other changes to the 2023 TAFC rules may indeed have a bigger impact on the size of fields. Bodies from 1969 or newer will be accepted (currently the cutoff is 2000). Electronic fuel injection and 'two step' ignition devices will be permitted, also billet roots superchargers will be allowed.
Josh Hamming stated the NHRA "wants to help grow the class and keep it interesting for both the racers and the fans," a laudable goal, as many cars that are eligible are racing on the eighth mile Funny Car Chaos and quarter mile California Independent Funny Car Association, however we believe many would struggle to be competitive with current NHRA front runners. For European teams, the new rules may be considered for 2024 introduction by the FIA, let's hope they will allow some of the Funny Cars stored in Europe to be converted to the new specs, although running these spectacular cars is neither easy or cheap.
Read NHRA's full article at this link.
Saturday Night Special at Santa Pod.
25th October: The October Saturday Night Special at Santa Pod Raceway is a popular date for testing of cars and bikes, and the 2022 edition was no exception. Here are some of the top times recorded with racer comments:
Sean Maclaren (pictured right) from Stirling in Scotland got his street driven Audi TTRS down into the eights thanks to the help of Ecotune and we look forward to see him running in 2023, possibly in VW Heads Up?
Mart Dainty overcame his problems at the Sports Compact Shootout, including a broken hub carrier in his first run, to run a new PB of 9.7371/149.06, also enjoying side by side racing with fellow FWD racer Craig Evans who was in the 9.8s in his Corsa. Another FWD racer Ant Mincher in his VW Golf Ml1 ran a new PB of 10.031/142.03. Well done on the new PBs guys and good luck at the Flame & Thunder Show where there will be FWD demos.
John Floyd's Yamaha RD engine in his former Super Twin Gas bike (pictured below left) is a mobile demo of his work in two stroke tuning and engine building through his business Floydyracing.com which is based in Hastings, East Sussex.
Anna Sasiak from The 'Rents go Racing Team tested their new Hayabusa (pictured above right, photo by Bob Long) and the team were delighted with their result: "Great day testing the new bike, couldn't have been better. Jake from JKE Race Works put in a base clutch setting in the Gen 2 clutch and a base map in the Maxx ECU. Did 3 runs and learned a hell of a lot from the data logging, every run was faster than the last. So watch out for PB's at Flame and Thunder!" Anna thanks all that helped create the new bike including JKE Race Works, BTC Moto, Big CC Racing, Suzuki Performance Spares and Warp Speed Racing.
25th October: Happy Birthday for today to longtime Eurodragster.com supporter and Top Methanol Dragster crew member Gittli Kürten, Super Pro ET team mum Kirsty Giles, Super Pro ET racer Joe Kellett, Top Fuel team owner and former racer Urs Erbacher and VW Pro racer Michael Mooney. Here's hoping you are all having a great day.
The latest video posted by Simon Letkey on the Veedubracing Youtube Channel is footage of Taylor's Trophy Supper Street Bike at the National Finals. You can see the action by clicking here.
Fuel Altereds at California Hot Rod Reunion.
24th October: The 30th Anniversary NHRA California Hot Rod Reunion held from 21st-23rd October at at Famoso Dragstrip, Bakersfield, included all the usual activities, the Saturday night action however being truncated by a weather delay. What made the event special for us was the thrilling display put on by the eleven fuel altereds gathered to mark AA/FA legend and frequent UK visitor Ron Hope's retirement from driving. Although this event was Ron's last driving his Rat Trap Bantam machine, grandson Michael will be joining their ranks in the future when he has completed his licensing.
You can see the Fuel Altered sessions on the Drag Racer TV Youtube Channel at links for session 1 on Saturday afternoon and session 2 on Sunday. A second session on Saturday was cancelled due to unfavourable weather conditions. The final session for the quickest four cars was run towards the end of the event with Johnny West winning.
The results of the Fuel Altered sessions were as follows:
James Generalao Jnr (Impatient) 6.210/225.67 vs. Johnny West (Plan A) 6.421/167.95
Tom Padilla (Red Dragon) 6.146/200.95 vs. Kyle Hough (Nanook) 6.529/172.30
Shawn Callen (High Heaven) 6.492/202 vs. Jeff Bennett (Pure Heaven) 8.628/129.63
Dylan Winefsky (Nitro Moose) 6.526/190.22 vs. Brian Hope (Pure Hell) 14.488/61.26
Randy Bradford (Bradfords) 14.488/61.26 vs. Ron Hope (Rat Trap) 7.739/129.24
Rodney Flournoy (Godzilla) 8.117/112.03 bye
Kyle Hough 6.905/143.16 vs. James Generalao Jnr 7.012/139.75
Johnny West 6.092/211.26 vs. Dylan Winefsky 6.317/216.06
Jeff Bennett 6.523/214.62 vs. Rodney Flournoy 6.802/200.50
Shawn Callen 6.348/203.55 vs. Randy Bradford 7.270/171.14
Tom Padilla 6.341/151.87 bye
Brian Hope 6.270/228.07 vs. Ron Hope 7.698/171.49
Brian Hope 6.296/222.58 def. James Generalao Jnr 6.581/220.48
Johnny West 6.064/217.39 def. Tom Padilla 6.705/150.08
Congratulations to the winners and thanks to Ron for organising the event, as he has with many previous Fuel Altered races at the CHRR. We hope to see you back at the track and this side of the Pond soon Ron.
To tune into video of racing for other nostalgia nitro classes, you can follow the links to Nostalgia Funny Car qualifying session 1 (Friday), session 2 (Friday) and session 3 (Saturday) with eliminations round 1 (Saturday), round 2, semi final and final.
Also see nostalgia Top Fuel action at links for qualifying session 1 (Friday), session 2 (Saturday) and session 3 (Saturday) with eliminations round 1, semi final and final.
Photo: Ron Hope at 2018 California Hot Rod Reunion.
24th October: Happy Birthday for today to Santa Pod Thrill Ride crew member Baron Sharpe, Nostalgia Funny Car crew Kerry Fowler and former Pro Stock Bike racer Kenneth Holmberg. We hope you all have a great day.
Photojournalist Steve Moxley has been busy with more drag bike reports for the ACU website on National Finals (ACU classes), National Finals (national classes) and Tim Hailey's Eatmyink where you can see Steve's report on the FIM-E classes at the Euro Finals.
Tonight on Draglist Live, you can see Funny Car and Top Fuel legend Roland Leong being interviewed by Draglist.com's Bill Pratt, Roland visiting the UK for the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame gala in 2017 and also Dragstalgia 2019 where he entertained Tony Betts' Venom team and those of us who were lucky enough to meet him. You can catch Roland's interview at this link on Facebook. The starting time is 1am UK time, however you can catch up with the show after transmission.
23rd October: We were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Funny Car and Top Fuel legend Tom Hoover on Saturday.
Born in Minnesota, Tom's introduction to drag racing came as part of a family team after dad and crew chief George ("Pa") and mum Ruth ("Ma") bought a Dragmaster gas dragster in 1962, running the supercharged engine on nitro from August 1963. The next Hoover car built by Rod Stuckey was a AA/FD which the family toured in 1964 and won his first National event, the AHRA Winter Nationals at Beeline in 1965. Another two new cars came in 1965 from Woody Gilmore, the first stolen from the team but the second known as "The Fishbowl", a beautiful machine. Tom started getting a lot more ink after a successor car ran a Ford Cammer engine and competed in the small number of NHRA National Events in that era.
The family team switched to Funny Cars in 1970 with a Gilmore built car supported by his local White Bear Dodge dealership. His first car was one of the most beautiful of a large number running a late model Chrysler engine. It was said Tom was claustrophobic when the body was first lowered on him, but he quickly acclimatised. From 1974 he named his cars Showtime and with them he won many races.
International racing appealed to Tom after contact with the Phelps family, and he made his debut at Santa Pod Raceway at the September 1980 World Finals, not in Showtime, but in the Blue Max, substituting for Raymond Beadle. Tom went quick immediately in the unfamiliar car got through to round two when he was defeated by John Andersson. In 1981 he brought his Jaime Sarte-built Corvette to Santa Pod, running it in the 6.3s and returned to race it in subsequent years, the car being stored in the UK and ultimately sold. He later brought over his '85 Pontiac Trans Am which was later campaigned successfully by John Spuffard and Gary Page.
It was Tom's friendship with winner of the first Cannonball Bill Sherratt that resulted in him coming to the UK frequently, Tom also racing in Australia, Canada and Mexico during his career. Tom raced through to 1999 and Pa George was his crew chief into his late eighties.
Tom had many honours in his long career and was inducted into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame in 2014. We were fortunate to see him in 2017 at the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Gala where the years dropped away and he retold stories of his racing career of decades earlier.
We send our deepest condolences to Betten, Tom's wife of nearly 50 years, their children Paige, who accompanied him on visits to the UK, Troy and Landon and family and friends.
Photo credits: portrait of Tom: Tog, Showtime in SPR pits: Dave Mann
Outlaw Street at Saturday Night Special.
22nd October: Today Santa Pod Raceway holds its final Saturday Night Special of the season with racing planned to run until 8pm. One of the main features is Outlaw Street, the series for street legal cars, which reaches its ninth and penultimate round this weekend. The final round will be run next Sunday after the Flame & Thunder Show.
The points table shows that Sally Woolner is in the lead with Dave Mahoney in second place, both running Camaros capable of 8s at 150mph+. The others in the top five are Alan's OS-25 '34 Hotrod (the one with Hot Wheels livery), Simon Paul's Nissan GTR and Pete Lane's postcode-on-wheels Mercury Marquis Colony Park Station Wagon. 31 racers have scored points with the final points for the season taken at the end of the season from your highest scoring 7 of the 9 rounds.
Pictured: left, Sally Woolner at Hot Rod Drags, right, Simon Paul at Fast Show Reloaded.
Awards for winners are determined for three competitions. The most improved ET award in round 8 (Melbourne Raceway) was Martin Rawlinson in his Challenger with an improvement on his last round of 0.8635secs to net a 11.5552 @123.19mph (the time converted from 1/8 mile to a notional quarter mile), Martin won £50 prize money and a winners certificate by Design by Binnie. Biggest improvement over the whole season so far has been Pete Lane with a 1.8595 improvement in round 5 (Mopar Euro Nationals).
Each season Outlaw Street awards a trophy for the fastest 4/6 cylinder car of the year, at round 8 this was Simon Paul with a converted 11.147 @ 140.97mph, who scored the quickest for each event, his best being 10.3108 @ 138.11mph in round 6 (VW Action). The trophy for the quickest V8 of the year could be going to Sally Woolner with quickest timeslips at six events and quickest of 8.2222 @ 166.06mph at round 7 (Hot Rod Drags). The most recent round at Melbourne saw Ian Walley's Cortina score the quickest ET with a converted 9.9852 @ 151.13mph.
So good luck to all competitors for this weekend, and we will report on the final results of the season which will be presented at the series Prize Night on 12th November.
22nd October: Happy Birthday to Top Fuel Bike racer and 2022 FIM-E Champion Rikard Gustafsson, FIM-E official Job Heezen, Comp Eliminator racer Robin Sattler and Super Comp racer Andre Müller. We hope that you all have a fantastic day.
Webmaster for U.S. site We Did It For Love and former Top Fuel racer Don Ewald has announced that WDIFL.com, one of the longest running drag racing photo and history sites, will be co-presented with Dave Bellaver into the future, and Don with Dave are hosting a promotional booth at the California Hot Rod Reunion (on the midway near the AAA tent if you are there) this weekend and Nitro Revival on 5th-6th November. Whilst the site has a subscription area it has plenty of free stuff for new users to sample.
Straightliners at Santa Pod, champions.
21st October: Congratulations to the winners of the Straightliners final race of the year on Sunday at Santa Pod Raceway last Sunday, 15th October:
Class 9.10: Mark Taylor 9.16/161 def. David Storrie (pictured) 9.65/147
Oldschool USB Stock: Mickey Blackburn 10.81/131 def. Dan Leather 11.43/121
Oldschool USB Modified: Roy Chappell 10.11/142 def. Alan Seeley 11.59/118
Oldschool USB 2-Stroke: Rob Briers, uncontested
Nostalgic Pro Stock: Richard Peachey 14.00/97 def. Chris Spry, broke
Straightliners No Mercy Shootout: Leigh Williams (9.80) 10.20/121 def. Dave Grundy 11.40/123
Scooters No Mercy Shootout: Ade Horrocks (12.95) 12.88/98 def. Mike Pacey (15.94) 15.18/88
Juniors: Jack Taylor (19.91) 20.21/57 def. William Mountford (19.96) 19.74/60 breakout
Congratulations to the winners of the 2022 Straightliners championships:
Pro Extreme Car: Pete Youhill
Pro ET: Bob Molden
Sportsman ET: Pete Eborall
Bike and scooter champions
Class 6.00: David Storrie
Straightliners No Mercy Shootout: Phil Tomlinson
Juniors: William Mountford
Oldschool USB Stock: Mickey Blackburn
Oldschool USB 2-Stroke: Rob Briers
Nostalgic Pro Stock: Claire Rule
Race Legends: Colin Fallows
Scooters: Eric Cope
The racing was held in partly sunny conditions with qualifying being run in the morning and eliminations in the afternoon.:
Complete lists of ETs and speeds recorded on Sunday, including a sizeable British and European RWYB bike contingent, are available at this link.
Straightliners Championship points are available on the 2022 Straightliners results repository or via our points standings page. Thanks to Martyn Greathead for posting the results and points.
21st October: Happy Birthday for today to drag bike crew member Baz Rathbone, UK Nostalgia Superstock racers Richard Granger and Paul Smaile and VWDRC racer Stacey Fenton. A belated Happy Birthday to Ruaridh Hart for yesterday. Hope you guys have, or had, a great day.
For those wishing to watch the NHRA California Hot Rod Reunion, which takes place this weekend, a stream will be on the Youtube channel DragRacer.tv from 21st-23rd October.
2023 FIA European Drag Racing championship dates.
20th October: The dates for the 2023 FIA European Drag Racing championship have been approved by the World Motor Sport Council when it convened in London yesterday:
Certification dates and re-cert info.
20th October: Thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for sending us details of certification dates and re-certification information for safety equipment:
Phil Kenyon (Chief Scrutineer) has been carrying out work on behalf of racers, looking at re-certification dates across SFI and FIA safety gear, and has come up with a comparison list which you can see by clicking on this link.
If an item on the list is dual-certified, as long as one of the certifications is still valid, the item can be used. For example, a driver restraint system with an out-of-date SFI label but an in-date FIA label will be ok.
Further information will follow regarding re-cert of SFI-only head and neck restraints.
20th October: Thanks to Trakbytes webmaster Chris Dossett for a further update to his site, the prime source on the web for history of the sport in the UK:
"The Trakbytes website has been updated with 23 entries this time, spanning thirty years from 1962 to 1992. I failed to notice on the last the last update (because it never occurred to me to count them) that the number of entries in the main yearly archive has just passed the 1000 mark! I had no idea 24 years ago, when I started putting together a list of notable events in the history of British Drag racing for my own interests, that it would grow into something as extensive as this. My thanks to the fans, racers, friends and family who, over the years, have helped by contributing material. There are still plenty of gaps and so if anyone can help fill them all contributions will be most gratefully received. Race reports, individual results, singular personal achievements, programme covers, entry lists, all are welcome.
"Included in this latest update: the next volume of The Retford Scrapbooks has been uploaded. This one contains material from the first half of 1974. There are also details of some American bikes at the Dragfests, Keith Parnell’s accidental combination of scrambling and Drag Racing at Martlesham, a new entry on the Santa Pod Bike Strip Records page, Roz Prior’s first drive in a fuel car, Two new Fuel Altereds at the 1987 Big Go and much more. I have also addressed the recurring error regarding the terminal speed of Sammy Miller’s Vanishing Point on that record run at the 1984 Cannonball, and I think I may know where the misleading information began."
Congratulations to Chris for keeping the site live, and ever more comprehensive, for 24 years, and we look forward to many updates in the future. You can send him updates on email@example.com.
20th October: Happy Birthday to Super Pro ET racer Peter Lane, we hope you have a great Birthday Peter as you celebrate your special day.
Old School Stockers' 2022 finale.
19th October: Congratulations to Richard Peachey on a well deserved first win in the Old School Stockers (Nostalgia Pro Stock bikes) at Santa Pod on Sunday, writes OSS racer Kevin Melling.
"It was a somewhat bizarre last round of this year's Championship. Qualifications were pretty uneventful, but the eliminations were quite the opposite." Kev himself qualified #1 with a 8.7389/145.69 on his trusty green H2 this round, as opposed to his newer blue Z1R, ahead of championship leader Claire Rule's 8.9392/147.12 on her Suzuki GSX1100. Next was Richard Peachey (1979 Suzuki GS1000) with a 9.1987/139.06, followed by Dean Stevens (Kawasaki H2) with 9.2708/138.65. Rod Spry (red Kawasaki H2) was fifth with a 9.7260/131.81 and #6 and last was Chris Spry (Kawasaki H2) with 10.2860/121.55.
"The first pairing up was Claire against Rod, Claire taking the win with a 8.6285/150.06mph, after chasing down Rod's quicker reaction and very respectable 9.8463/129.93mph. Then it was me up against Chris Spry, with Chris taking the win with a 10.2802/124.53mph, after I broke a selector spring during the burnout, couldn't down shift, and therefore failed to stage. The next pairing was Richard Peachey against Dean Stevens, but Dean was a no show after their H2 also had a gearbox issue in qualifying. So Richard cruised through on the bye with a 10.1894/133.63mph.
Pictures: event winner Richard Peachey (left), 2022 champion Claire Rule (right), photographed at Dragstalgia 2022.
"In the semi's Chris Spry run his bye on the other side of the ladder going 10.22@123mph. In the other semi Claire lined up against Richard, but with Claire having a remote starter not playing ball and failing to make the run, this left Richard a guaranteed place in the final. However, Richard's hot creeping clutch inched him forward to a red light (which still beat Claire's no show), and he took another leisurely bye run 12.3915/113.92mph!
"So this shaped the final round to be Richard up against Chris, both of whom had managed to get there without a rider in their opposing lanes in either quarters or semi's. Then, as it turned out, the gremlins struck yet again, only this time on poor Chris who had clutch problems immediately after the burnout and was unable to stage, so Richard breezed through to take the win 14.0098/97.77mph in one of the weirdest war of attrition races we've seen in OSS. Well done Richard, reliability and tenacity bought home the trophy!"
Congratulations to Claire Rule for taking this year's Old School Stockers Championship for her third year in a row with Kev Melling in runner-up position. You can see the final points table in our points page at this link or via News, then Points Standings from the main menu.
Kev concluded "Well done to everyone who participated, and hoping we manage to get a few more join the mayhem next year!"
Melbourne Raceway announce 2023 dates.
19th October: Melbourne Race have announced their 2023 calendar:
Greek championship hots up at Agrinio Raceway.
19th October: The event at Agrinio Raceway on 14th-16th October had the largest quantiry of 6s and 7s quarter mile times that have ever taken place in Greece. Despite the difficult rainy conditions that prevailed until Saturday morning, the organization and teams gave their best in terms of track preparation and competition, and the result was a race that will go down in history.
A record entry with 150 entries in all categories, very strong competition and many surprises, in some classes it became like a real war. Many national and personal records were broken, including that of Konstatin Dinev from Bulgaria who set a world record of 7.222/315.23kph as the fastest Audi AWD in the world!
Some of the best times were the 6.930/298.50 of Grigoris Kyrou (Super Pro bike runner-up), the best motorcycle time that has ever been run in Greece, also the 6.949/295.32 and 6.945/304.56 by Dimitrios Gkosios (Super Pro bike winner), the only Greek drag bike racer who has entered the 6s three times locally, the awesome Panhellenic Super Street Bike record of 7.128/311.68 and 7.186/302.01 by Sam Mavrommatis, winner of Super Street Bike in a competitive field of 15 bikes, also the very strong 7.127/306.38 of Bilas Haris (Super Street Bike runner-up).
In the index car classes, the 8.944/266.07 of Savvas Petropoulos with his FWD Corsa could have been improved, but he suffered from minor problems. the #1 qualifying 7.769/279.72 of Yiannis Pasxalis for the Real Street bike category, 7.596/290.08 of Xristos Agapidis for Pro Street 2 #1 qualifier, 8.460/251.39 of Simos Elafris Pro Street 2 #1 qualifier and winner, and many from other categories were outstanding.
You can see qualifying and ladders on the Proaction Racing website at this link (Word document). The stream of the event can be seen on the Youtube channel of SportalTV
For more photos see the Agrinio Raceway Facebook page.
Final stop for the 2022 Panhellenic Drag Racing Championship is on 11th-13th November, again at Agrinio Raceway.
19th October: Happy Birthday for today to Santa Pod Raceway marshal Phil Brown, former Pro Stock racer Jonas Dantanus, former Palladin Lotus racer Martyn Potter. Have a great day guys.
For some great onboard drag bike footage click here for a Youtube video of testing and development of the snowmobile-engined drag bike built by Jerry Collier's Projoint Fabrications, ridden and owned by Steve Cope of TK Cope Moto.
UK Rule book changes for 2023.
18th October: Thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for sending us details of the UK Rule book changes for 2023 regarding safety equipment for drivers, following the Technical Committee meeting on 16th October 2022.
Head and Neck Restraint Systems
Head and Neck Restraint Systems with SFI only specs for sportsman racers will expire 5 years after the manufacturing date; if your restraint is of FIA spec then there is no expiry date and providing they are in serviceable condition they have no life date. If you own a Simpson Head restraint it may have both SFI and FIA certification, this remains legal regardless of the SFI date as the FIA date allows for use beyond the SFI certification.
If you have a Head restraint with only SFI certification you must at the 5 year expiry either have the head restraint re-certified (currently by the manufacturer) or purchase a new Head Restraint, if you are in the position of requiring to purchase a new item, should you purchase a Simpson Head Restraint, you can ask that the FIA sticker is also added (there may be a small charge) but this will then give the extended life to the Head Restraint, alternatively purchase an FIA unit therefore removing the expiry date altogether.
Added to GSR 10.5 will be: "Harnesses homologated by the FIA will display the FIA hologram on the left shoulder strap (as sat in the car)."
Sportsman Fire suits
Any Driver currently using an FIA 8856-2000 Fire suit is reminded that the suit's ten year expiry date comes in on the 1st January 2023, please check your FIA suit date as you may need to update the suit before competition begins in 2023.
Class designations for ET Classes are not currently listed in the Rule Book; from 2023 onward the ET designation will be:
Super Pro: S/Pro followed by your race number
Pro ET: Pro/Et followed by your race number
Sportsman ET SP/ET followed by your race number
Drivers using a Head and Neck restraint will in 2023 be required to wear a Balaclava under their helmet, as we no longer use neck braces in vehicles that utilise full harnesses and head restraints, this leaves a gap between the fire suit and the helmet, therefore an FIA 8856-2000 / 8856-2018 or SFI spec 3.3 Balaclava will be required, the exception being if you have a SFI 3.3 skirted helmet that covers the gap between the helmet and suit.
The Rule book will be updated to reflect these updates in 2023.
Nitro Revival preview.
18th October: Nitro Revival is now only just over two weeks away and if anyone is travelling to it or looking at a last minute booking, here is a reminder of what is on offer.
Nitro Revival takes place at Irwindale Raceway from 4th-6th November, with the first day dedicated to set-up and participant parking. At 5pm on Friday there will be a Meet 'n Greet Social Gathering with In-N-Out Cookout, followed by a memorial to two greats of the sport we have recently lost, Dave McClelland and Bill Schultz who will be honoured posthumously.
On Saturday 5th November the gates will open at 6am to participants and 7am to spectators, with on track action starting at 9am with time trials, fun runs, A/FX & Gasser qualifying, Cackle Car push starts, exhibition runs and fire-ups in the pits. At 12:15 there will be a Nitro Exhibitions, Wheelstander & Push Start Session, with an autograph session at 1pm, Nitro Revival Honoree introductions and evening festivities of the "Line of Fire" Cackle Car Static Starts being introduced at 17:30.
Sunday's on track activities start at 10am until 4pm with Nitro Exhibitions & Wheelstander Exhibition Runs at 12:15 and 15:00 and eliminations for Gassers, A/FX, & others between 12:30 and 17:00.
Honorees for induction who will be present include Gas Ronda, Doc Conroy, Jim London, Stan Adams, Charlie Allen, Bill Schultz and the trio known as “The Sour Sisters,” Don Ratican, Don Gaide and Kenny Safford. You can see biographies of them at this link on the excellent nitrorevival.com website.
On display and cackling will be 73 historic nitro burning cars, making for a truly memorable experience, with over 115 personalities, characters and other drag racing royalty. Amongst the 33 members of the media present will be Andy Willsheer who will be providing photos to us which we will post on Andy's return to Blighty. Our Nitro Revival sponsor Geoff Stilwell will also be present a week before he takes to El Mirage near Los Angeles to attempt to set a new class record of over 250mph over a mile on the dry lake bed.
Schmidt announces link with Lencsés.
18th October: Super Street Bike racer Margot Schmidt from the Netherlands has announced a tie-up with the record setting team of Dániel Lencsés from Hungary for 2023:
"We have teamed up with Brothers Racing from Hungary, the drag racing team from Dániel Lencsés. The fastest man on a 68” Super Street Bike in the world. This weekend we took our bike to his amazing Hungarian workshop and started making plans for the 2023 season! We also started to make some changes on the bike, it’s going to be a good one.
"We can’t thank Dani and Rita Lencsés-Kántor enough for this amazing opportunity, very very thankful!"
JT raffling Pro Mod start up.
18th October: Santa Pod announcer Colin Theobald has been fundraising apace for the charities Pancreatic Canver UK and the Christie Hospital through the SPRC Auction for Hayley Hadfield’s chosen charities Facebook page. The raffle, for which you can buy tickets through the page, includes many treasurable items and experiences and Eurodragster.com sponsor John Tebenham has just announced a superb opportunity to be included:
"We auctioned off one of my sumps which a con rod went through at the Hayley Hadfields auction. So me being me and probably not a normal man. I am going to offer a start up in the beautiful The Fabulous Lightning McQueen. The throttle will not be contacted but starting one of these babies up is crazy. We will run the car for about a minute to do checks. Also I can’t believe how mad these are when you stand outside, I love it.
"So the raffle prize winner gets to sit in my pro mod and fire it up, probably at the Doorslammers. The crew will teach you how to start it and at any time you want out, we will turn it off. I tried to buy a couple of pro mods but no one would let me start them up, mad as I know I would have brought them. This is a once in a lifetime chance. These cars cost over £250k to build. Most of my crew have started my blue car so it’s not all about me as a driver."
The prize includes free t-shirts, posters and an evening barbecue and drinks for one night with The Fabulous Lightning McQueen team.
You can buy tickets to the Hayley Hadfield charity raffle for £5 each, limited to two tickets per person at this link and messaging Colin. Payment can be made at this link.
18th October: Photographer Ashley Dale has posted an album of pictures from the Melbourne Raceway Season Finale 2022 which you can see by clicking here.
The Youtube channel Shoestring Motoring has posted a 52 minute review of the 2022 NSRA Hot Rod Drags which you can see by clicking here. Also included on their channel are reviews of 2022 Dragstalgia and Nostalgia Nationals.
SCC add cash days drag racing.
17th October: If you're into racing VW Beetles, you may have heard of Scandinavian Cal Look & Classic, a festival of Beetles in a "small pine forest just north of Oslo", aka Gardermoen Raceway. The organisers have announced there will be drag racing for cash prizes at the 2023 event to be held 11th-13th August 2023. Their website at www.sccevent.com states "For more than twenty years, the event has been based around our mutual love for the culture and the era of the air-cooled Volkswagens and Porsches and a level of coziness that blows the scales. Most visitors camp at the site with their family and have a great time in this vintage “village” all weekend long.
"The whole event is a giant show & shine with around 1000 amazing cars. All participants are considered for the award ceremony Saturday evening! Cars in motion is poetry to us and since the venue is the Gardermoen International Raceway we enjoy seeing some of the fastest nostalgic racers there are on the track! You can expect to see everything from Schwimmwagens to the fastest pan-car on the planet, also known as the Skinne Beetle. You will find stock cars, rally cars, custom, cal-lookers and home-built monster race cars. SCC is the place big dogs go to prove their worth!
Pictures by Roger Iversen: Jens Petter Brandstorp (who ran quickest ET of 8.1383/282.02kph in 2022's event) and Morten Tønnessen.
"Friday night the Screwdrivers club host their annual T-Bar-B-Q and serve burgers and beer, this is a tradition as old as the event itself. The SCC is focused around letting people use their cars and having fun, that’s why we also arrange a slalom competition on site where everyone can participate. Saturday night we welcome all to a live concert and the there will be a DJ playing in the big tent for those that want to party the night away.
"You will also find the best swap-meet on site, and big vendor shops with parts and special discounts for the weekend. There is catering on hand with great food and drinks so you don’t have to have a BBQ unless you want to. Long after the smell of track bite is gone you will remember the friendly atmosphere!" The cash day prize is an innovation for 2023. The organisers say "The trend of cash days has been a craze for years in the United States. And we are now bringing it to SCC and the Volkswagen community! We will invite the 32 fastest cars in Europe to fight it out at SCC 2023.
"To be eligible you must have a recent time slip with a ET that lands you within the 32 spots. The competition is hard, but the reward is substantial. The competition boils down to a mix of fast car, the ability to perform when it counts and the luck of the draw. The first 16 pairs are drawn, and and proceed to race. The winners draw again to produce eight pairs, and race. This repeats until there are only two drivers left. The winner of the last race takes home 5000 euro! And the second place gets 1000 euro!
"There is no additional fee to enter SCC cash days and you can sign up at this link to become a "Flywheeler" and join the fun."
17th October: Happy Birthday to 2022 ACU Top Fuel Bike champion Neil Midgley, have a great day Neil!
For fans of Malta's 4-cylinder dragsters who are on Facebook, a page dedicated to these exceedingly quick cars has been set up at this link which gives details of drivers and powerplants. Now if we can only get them to enter the same race for a full ladder...
Artist and photographer Carol Rule has been doing a sterling job of writing up Santa Pod Raceway nostalgia drag racing events for the U.S. web site Nostalgia Drag World, and you can see her latest work on the NSRA Hot Rod Drags at this link.
Thundergod to rest in 2023.
16th October: Supercharged Outlaws racer Des Taylor has announced that the Thundergod altered he drives and is owned and tuned by Duncan Beard, will be on the sidelines for 2023 as Duncan battles a debilitating (but not life threatening) illness:
"Duncan has been unwell now for a while and after Tuning Thundergod to consecutive personal bests at every meeting for 2 years the 2022 season has proved challenging.
"The cumulative effects of ill health, lack of finance, working a full time job and then having to start working on the car on a night has taken its toll. I used to work on the car with Duncan 3 nights a week and weekends but since I moved South over a year since Duncan has been struggling to do everything mainly alone.
"In spite of this Duncan got the car to the track and achieved his dream of driving a blown methanol dragster and whilst a novice driver he was rewarded with a 8 second run (see picture below) and was over the moon. Duncan has also tuned the car to allow me to run a string of seven second runs and 180 plus mph terminals which is amazing as he had never touched a blown big block Chevy engine before.
"This year it became obvious to me that Duncan was really struggling and I now realise that having a driver who never wants to get beat and expects the car to run faster every meeting was putting even more pressure on him for which I am sorry. At my age every run counts and people who know me, know I ain't just there for the barbecue...
"Duncan allowed me to extend my racing career and add 7 second blown methanol altered driver to my CV, for which I will always be forever grateful. Together we have achieved everything we set out to do.
"The main thing now is Duncan needs to rest and get better and who knows in 6 months time he may feel like doing a couple of meetings next year but that will be entirely dependent on his health, finding a local crewman and me taking the financial burden off his shoulders and finding the funds to cover the £500 costs to run an event which will certainly help him enormously."
Duncan issued the following statement:
"I have decided to not run the Thundergod next season. I'm not selling it yet, the plan is to park it up for a year and see how I feel after that. It's something I've been thinking about since early last winter. For the last 2 years I have suffered with a chronic physical health issue which has prevented me from doing a lot of things or made them less enjoyable. I need a physical, mental and financial rest.
"I'm really glad that we got involved with the Supercharged Outlaws, I've met a lot of interesting, funny, nice & helpful people. I'm really proud that I've kept the car going fast & reliable on a budget and I've learned a hell of a lot along the way. I was hoping to get Des into the low 7s & myself into the high 7s but we were a meeting short of getting it sorted. At least I got the high-speed tuned enough to pull the terminals up at the last meet! Plus I did run a few mid 8s myself at Dragstalgia which was awesome. Thanks to everyone who has helped us with parts & advice, I'm sure I will be at some meetings next season as a spectator. Thanks to all the team: Des, Karen, Gilly, Amanda & Matt. See you all next year, Duncan."
16th October: Webmaster of ukdrn.co.uk Jon Spoard has posted his review of the FIA/FIM-E European finals, including a large number of excellent photos. You can see Jon's review by clicking here.
Malta Drag Racing Association secretary Konrad D'Anastasi has announced that the 130 vehicle limit for entry to the Malta Drag Racing Association 2022 finale to be held on 17th-20th November (pre-race RWYB on 5th November). Entry includes UK racers Sean Prout in his Smurf FWD Honda Civic, Terry Newton's FWD Escort Van and Steve Jennerway's Mk2 Escort. We plan to publish a spotter's guide in advance as well as galleries from the event
Yesterday was the 25th anniversary of the Thrust SSC team setting the World Land Speed Record of 763.035mph - making it the first and only car to reach speeds faster than the speed of the sound. You can watch the team's official video marking the event by clicking here.
Commiserations to Top Alcohol Dragster racer Julie Nataas who was bumped from the tough TAD field in the Texas NHRA FallNationals at the Texas Motorplex yesterday. She wrote: "We are no.18 after qualifying and for the first time in my career I’m not qualified to race. We were sitting 16th going in to our last qualifier this morning. As a driver, I wanted to improve our ET as much as possible so I made sure to stage shallow. The light blinked once before I had a solid and was staged. Well I got a red light, and not because I left before the tree came down, so I was confused but stepped on it. We made a good run! I came to learn that I was given no time for my run because I flickered the light. Thanks NHRA for...including sportsman racers in your email about the difference in the timing system at this track, I flickered the light just as much as the Pro drivers (even if I was fully staged). And thank god we’re not in the championship chase! See ya in Vegas." We look forward to seeing Julie rebound at Las Vegas where our roving reporter Andy Willsheer will be on hand to ascertain that all is in order.
Zerbst results and German champions.
15th October: Many thanks to Andrea Kloss, Drag Racing Co-ordinator for Deutscher Motorsport Verban, for providing details of qualifying and eliminations at the DMSB Dessau Cup race held at Zerbst Airfield on 1st-3rd October. The race was organised by the club 1. AMC Dessau e.V. with timing by the Dutch group DHRA.
Congratulations to the winners:
Super Pro ET: Oliver Petzold def. Oliver Krautburger (3rd place Michael Mikuscheit)
Pro ET: Michael Försch def. Armin Widmann (3rd place Thomas Bublitz)
Super Comp: Gerd Habermann def. Michael Maderer (3rd place Arndt Putzmann)
Super Gas: Stephan Blauwitz def. Andre Nahler (3rd place Pascal Czieschowitz)
ET Bike: Jan Kamberg def. Rainer Hescher (3rd place Chantal van Loon)
Junior Dragster: Thore Wolf def. Max Timmers (3rd place Julian Guttzeit)
Junior Drag Bike: Eric Spanowski def. Marie-Madleen Rosen (3rd place Wichard Veldman)
After Saturday was rained out, qualifying commenced on Sunday and eliminations took place on Monday. In Super Pro ET, Oliver Petzold, driving the Schumann Motorsport Corvette roadster to 8.0s times, defeated Oliver Krautburger in his '79 Chevy Monte Carlo, four cars qualifying for the competition. Pro ET had a field of 25 qualified cars with Rene Siefert qualifying first with a +0.016 9.216 in his Chevelle SS. Pro ET winner Michael Försch in his '68 Plymouth Valiant qualified second and after byes in round 1 and 2, defeated Nick de Kruif (Pontiac Firebird) in the quarter finals and Thomas Bublitz in the semi final on his way to the final against newly crowned Drag Race Union and DMSB Pro ET champion Armin Widmann.
Photo credit: Pascal Koch Super Comp saw Michael Maderer qualify #1 in his BMW 8 series at 9.751/270.68kph, however two successive breakouts in eliminations (the first a 8.676/281.25 against a no-showing Sebastian Laskowski) saw Gerd Habermann take the event win and championships. In Super Gas, Andre Nahler, who impressed us greatly with his gearshifting technique at the Euro Finals, ran his Beetle to 10.134/214.93 to qualify first of three, but was defeated by Stephan Blauwitz's Camaro in the final.
14 cars qualified for Junior Dragster with Liam McDonald getting pole position with a 0.028 reaction time. In eliminations, Liam went out to eventual runner up in round 2. Winner Thore Wolf defeated Mia Thorna in round 1 and Mia-Joline Hanke in round 2, then Julian Guttzeit in the semi final. Junior Drag Bike had six competitors and Eric Spanowski stayed ahead of the quicker Marie-Madleen Rosen.
In the other bike classes, 8.50 Bike was the largest field with 18 bikes qualifying and Clemens Walleit was #1 with 8.701/266.67, Clemens an occasional runner in Super Street Bike. Clemens reached the final where Torben Frahm was the victor, the only other bike in the 8.5s in eliminations. ET Bike had 14 qualifiers with Johan Rijs #1 at a +0.033 9.033/243.24. Eventual winner Jan Kamberg defeated a breaking-out Johan in the semi finals and new champion Rainer Hescher in the final.
You can see albums of the Zerbst race at the website of Harald and Clarissa Czekalla Motografie.magix.net, and the Facebook page of Pascal Koch's European Drag Racing Videos.
We also congratulate champions of German drag racing series (all German racers except where indicated), for which we are grateful to Andrea for supplying details:
DMSB Drag Racing Pokal (official ASN Cup in Germany)
Super Pro ET: Winner: Frank Römer, 2nd Place: Thierry Senges (FR), 3rd Place: Franz Aschenbrenner (DE)
Super Comp: Winner: Gerd Habermann, 2nd Place: Enrico Bailo (IT), 3rd Place: Arndt Putzmann
Super Gas: Winner: Stephan Blauwitz, 2nd Place: Marianne Wisotzke, 3rd Place: Oscar Scappocin (IT)
Pro ET: Winner: Armin Widmann, 2nd Place: Janine Petzold, 3rd Place: Ronnie Mercer (UK)
Sportsman ET: Winner: Maurice Heller (DE)
Super Comp Bike: Winner: Tim Christensen (SE), 2nd Place: Brad Head (UK)
ET Bike: Winner: Rainer Hescher, 2nd Place: Hubert Franger, 3rd Place: Bernd Thomer
DMSJ Junioren Drag Racing Pokal (official ASN for Junior Motorsports)
Junior Dragster: Winner: Max Timmers (NL), 2nd Place: Hugo Lajoux (FR), 3rd Place: Marie Camilleri (FR)
Junior Drag Bike: Winner: Marie-Madleen Rosen, 2nd Place: Wichard Veldman (NL), 3rd Place: Eric Spanowski
DMV Drag Racing Meisterschaft (Championship of the Promoter of German Drag Racing)
Pro Modified: Champion: Norbert Kuno, 2nd Place: Walter Strobel
Competition Eliminator: Champion: Robin Sattler, 2nd Place: Bernd Rudolph, 3rd Place: Manuel Kreiter
Extreme Outlaw: Champion: Karl-Heinz Kleider, 2nd Place: Dominik Reinhardt
Super Pro ET: Champion: Alain Dürr (CH), 2nd Place: Frank Römer, 3rd Place: Franz Aschenbrenner
Super Comp: Champion: Gerd Habermann, 2nd Place: Arndt Putzmann, 3rd Place: Michael Maderer
Pro ET: Champion: Armin Widmann, 2nd Place: Janine Petzold, 3rd Place: Gerd Habermann
Super Gas: Champion: Stephan Blauwitz, 2nd Place: Marianne Wisotzke, 3rd Place: Pascal Czieschowitz
Sports Compact: Champion: Dirk Radzanowski
Sportsman ET: Champion: Maurice Heller, 2nd Place: Dieter Langner, 3rd Place: Sascha Herrmann
Public Race: Champion: Tom Brandes, 2nd Place: Bernd Rudolph
Junior Dragster: Champion: Thore Wolf, 2nd Place: Liam McDonald (IRE), 3rd Place: Max Timmers (NL)
Super Twin Bike: Champion: Chrisian Jäger
Pro Stock Bike: Champion: Karl-Heinz Weikum
Funny Bike: Champion: Markus Laur, 2nd Place: Thomas Joswig
E.T. Bike: Champion: Rainer Hescher, 2nd Place: Hubert Franger, 3rd Place: Lutz Kreupeintne
Junior Drag Bike: Champion: Marie-Madleen Rosen
15th October: A very Happy Birthday to Trakbytes webmaster Chris Dossett, Outlaw Flat Four racer Ian Shorrock and also to Top Alcohol Dragster racer Larry Miersch. We hope you all have a great day.
Good luck and stay safe to expat Norwegian Top Alcohol Dragster racer Julie Nataas who currently sits on the bump spot of the Texas NHRA FallNationals at the Texas Motorplex with a 5.381/273.91. You can follow Julie's progress at www.nhra.com or www.dragracecentral.com.
Racer quotes from Sports Compact Shootout.
14th October: We present below racers' thoughts after competing at the hugely successful Sports Compact Shootout at Santa Pod Raceway last weekend, you can see detailed results and galleries at our event coverage page:
Winner Calvin Skerritt (turbo Honda Civic B series 1800cc B18 engine, below left) qualified second with a 8.8309 164.89, then defeated the Lancia Delta HF Turbo-powered Fiat Uno of Ben Faggetter in round 1, Grant Moore's Saab-motored Vauxhall Corsa in round 2, Ryan Omarni's newly liveried Civic EG in the quarter final, Matt Davison's 9 second Civic in the semi and Jorel Wells in the final. Three eight second runs culmininating in a 8.9396/158.58 in the final but a lot of hard work replacing the engine overnight on Saturday to 5am Sunday morning.
Calvin told us "I would firstly like to thank the organisers for such a good event and being able to participate in it. It was a unexpected weekend with having to fit a new engine in at the end of day 1, which took us through to early hours of day 2 to complete.
"I am grateful for the help and support my team and sponsors gave me over the weekend, as without them we wouldn’t have been able to win the Jap Show which was an amazing end to the racing year. I would like to show some extra appreciation to my sponsors which are DP Raceparts, JNR Fabrication and BWH Performance and my team Xavier White, Teshaun Wells, Kai Richards and Delbert Greenaway, without you this wouldn’t have been possible to achieve.
"My team and I are very excited to see what the racing events hold for 2023 and we are coming back bigger and better!"
Matt Davison, aka Mr Boost (above right), suffered with gearchange issues in his Civic, but still ended in the semi finals after qualifying sixth with a 10.06. "Busy lead up to the weekend prepping for Japshow Finale and it was excellent as usual. I’m starting to get the hang of the Pfitzner Performance Gearbox aka PPG dog box. Now the shifter is working properly, I just need to learn to leave go of it between gear changes. It was getting better every run until I lost 2nd gear for some reason. Another evening gearbox swap later we put the standard one back in ready for eliminations. From 32 cars we got down to the semi finals again, but lost to Calvin’s insanely fast Civic, he went on to win the event after swapping engines during the night so massively well deserved. So throughout all this year's Shootouts and Doorslammers, we have either come 1st, 2nd or joint 3rd. We are definitely on the right track for consistency and reliability.
"Massive thanks to Murph for the help all year I would really struggle without him there, and to Rach Boville for looking after us and making sure we eat and drink. Really happy to see Lisette in the 10’s finally with her single cam, and everyone else who got PB’s. There are too many people to mention, but big love to everyone we race with throughout the year. Now I’m going to strip this gearbox and see what’s happened and get it sorted for our last event of the year in 3 weeks, at Flame and Thunder doing demo runs."
Matt thanks his supporters Competition Clutch, Turbosmart, Precision Turbo & Engine, VP Racing Fuels International and Funk Motorsport.
Semifinalist Ian Pepper (below left) made some suspension changes to his turbo C20LET Vauxhall Nova 2000cc coming into the weekend, and added a little more power to try to join the 9 second club. In qualifying he managed a massive pb of 10.16 at 149mph and won three eliminations rounds before being eliminated by Europe's fastest naturally aspirated K series Civic 2400cc driven by Jorel Wells, winning the £250 that Santa Pod put up for semi final losers. He said "Had another great time being part of the Sports Compact Shootout at Santa Pod Raceway! First time out with the new power and little changes to the suspension, but it went straight enough and felt quite nice to drive.
"Managed a massive pb of 10.16 at 149mph in qualifying to put me in the top ten so well over the moon with that. In the knockouts on Sunday I managed to win all my races to get me to the semifinals but Jorel's super fast Honda Civic was just to0 fast for me and just couldn’t catch him - Manajah Wells well done. My best of that day was 10.21 @147mph. So in all it was a fantastic weekend and I’m buzzing of what this car has done so far for me and much more to come.
Big thanks to everyone for the support and Allan Duthie for being my crew chief for the day and getting some spot on pics and videos, and my dad Roger Pepper who comes every time I race.
"Roll on Flame and Thunder as I have got a few little things to try to get that 60ft down and bring me into the 9s and break that 150mph mark. One more thing is to congratulate Dean Hyndman and Sean Prout for cracking the 9s and Lisette de Koning for her 10sec pass."
Ryan Omarni, who was running new livery on his Honda Civic 1800cc (above right), said "Had a awesome weekend, second time out in the car. A big shout out to Street Racers Rolling Road tuning & remapping, BWH Performance, Jack Wilson for the track side support and getting the car ready, couldn’t have done it without him, SW Motorsports for making a awesome job of the cage work and extra goodies and really happy for my mate Sean Prout for getting his pb 9 club. Unfortunately my gearbox decided to delete but always next time. Well don to Big Man Ting Performance, Congratulations to Calvin Skerritt for the win but me the lumberjack chopped ya at the tree, and to everyone who took part, awesome weekend."
New member of the nine second FWD club Sean Prout (below left) said "What an epic weekend of racing! Finally got some good runs in and some good data to work with! Also had a mega fun time doing it and a right laugh with all the FWD family. Massive thank you to my main man Gordon Darby from FuelTech UK dealer Streetracers, you sir are a legend! Finding that 1 tiny issue has opened the doors up to the road to big things, also need to thank Simon Crowley and Stacey Fenton from Pro-Race Engineering for building and supplying my Darton sleeved short block. If anyone needs any machine works or engine parts etc give these guys a shout I promise you won't get better service! And obviously and I can't leave her out, my no.1 fan,my wife Jade Prout, she's the one that's been there through all the failures, all the heartache and all the bills, thanks for sticking by me and keeping me going babe.
"Congratulations to the big guy for smashing it once again, Ahmed Jamshaid new PB and also Calvin Skerritt taking the well deserved win after an engine swap overnight! Dean Hyndman, we did it! We both ended the weekend both going nines back to back, and I genuinely can't think of a better way or person to do it with. Well deserved dude!"
Darren Dewhurst (above right), who races a Corsa B powered by a turbo C20LET engine, wrote "What a weekend at Santa Pod Raceway. Firstly well done to all who got PBs during the weekend, you all worked hard for it.
"We started out on low boost on Saturday to make sure car was going to drive straight after we had made a few suspension changes, and the car was feeling good. On the second run we turned it up, then got a clutch slip in 3rd going into 4th. So luckily Allan Duthie managed to source us a clutch from Germaine Shelton (thanks again) and Saturday night we had the box out. Sunday clutch wasn't slipping but we ended up with a misfire from a dodgy subloom connection, sorted all that out after we got knocked out in the Shootout to then go on to what was probably one of the best races I've had against Dean Hyndman where he went on to smash a 9 second pass and we managed to get back to a 10.1 on 80% boost. Hopefully we will have better luck at Flame and Thunder and join the nine second club. FULL SEND!"
Mart Dainty (Vauxhall Nova 2000cc below left) said "Hectic weekend at Santa Pod Raceway for the European FWD Shootout. Big love to the family, great entertainment as always. I started the weekend by breaking a hub carrier in the burnout and the wheel snapping off which put me out for the first two qualifiers and leaving me with only one run to set a time. Luckily I managed a 9.9 which meant I qualified 5th, so was really happy with that result out of 32 cars. "But on the Sunday, after battling problems all day run after run with the car and getting knocked out due to it not starting, it could have gone a lot better, but that’s racing. I did run 2 x 1.54 60fts so when the car gets sorted, she should be boogeying. Also I think I got reaction time of the day both days so another bonus, silver linings and all that..."
Grant Moore (Vauxhall Corsa powered by Saab, qualified 15th, above right) said he "Had a great time with everyone as usual at Japshow, it's always a laugh and good racing, the car has yet again been faultless all weekend. I finally had a cage put in the car by Raggy Conversions, Craig Evans did a great job as always.
"A crazy thing happened in my first two qualifying runs, they were practically identical, back to being a little old bracket car. On to eliminations, I had Lisette de Koning who did what I said she would do and have me off the tree, but I reeled her in on the top end for the win, onto the 2nd round and I get none other than the fastest FWD guy i have ever seen, Calvin Skerritt's car is epic, I took a stab at the light and red lit, but I never stood a chance regardless, so why not? Congratultions on winning the event you and the team deffo deserved it after your 5am finish on the engine swap. Congrats Dean Hyndman and Sean Prout on the 9’s well deserved. Might be out for Flame and Thunder to finish the pigeon off before it goes to the vets."
Luke White (below left) who qualified in the high 10s in his Honda Civic 2000cc and went one round wrote "Bit late to the party, but what an epic weekend at Pod and returned with a fully working car which in my eyes is a win! Great vibes and even better people. I made it to eliminations round 2 where I went out against Jorel Wells but what a car he has! Never seen an normally aspirated car move the way that thing does. Congrats to Calvin Skerritt for going on to win the shootout after an overnight engine swap! He really deserved it, well done mate, one hell of a car you’ve built!
"And mostly a huge congrats to Sean Prout for his multiple PB’s and ending the weekend getting himself into the 9’s after all the hassle that car's thrown at you, and all your hard work time after time, and not giving up! Well deserved mate. I think that’ll be us done until next season which should give us some time to improve a few things and get into them low 10’s with some decent 60ft’s which I found I struggled with most of the weekend! Some suspension upgrades should see us where we want to be for next season hopefully!
"Thank you to everyone else who has helped & supported along the way this year, since getting into it I can’t thank you all enough from my Mrs Karis Conboy to my pit man & my tuner Gordon Darby and everyone else for their part. See you all next season."
Lisette de Koning aka Lola Racing (above right) made the journey from Holland worthwhile as she netted her first ever 10 second pass and backed it up with another one in R1 of eliminations in her D Series Civic EK. She said "It took some struggles to get to this point, the last proper event for the car was Japshow 2019. Three years later, I finally feel like I'm back in the game.
"On Saturday I ran a 10.85 while letting off before the finish line. Then on Sunday in eliminations I ran a 10.9 whilst one spark plug wire had come off. I almost had you, Grant. There's definitely more potential for this car because I've done two 10sec runs and they weren't even full clean passes, unfortunately I couldn't test it before the end of the weekend.
"Thank you EFI Parts (Chris Backshell and Lauza Garrett) for tuning the car, helping to fix the bugs and your patience with the car, making sure I got to run this weekend. Rach Boville thank you for all the positivity and making me feel like home, bestie. Grant Moore, thanks for picking-up a new crank and bringing it to Matt's. Murph thank you for being the best pitcrew chief ever. Aart de Winter thanks for always joining on the long roadtrips and the badass pictures.
"I wanna thank especially the one person who made all of this happen in the first place Mr. Boost, Matt Davison. Thank you for rebuilding my engine, helping me out with advice, teaching me a lot, making sure the car is safe and taking it to the dyno. Thank you for your time, patience, blood, sweat and tears! I couldn't have ran a 10-second pass without you!"
Picture credits: Callum Pudge for Santa Pod Raceway and Kieran.
Straightliners Championship Finals preview.
14th October: This Sunday 16th October it’s the Straightliners Championship Finals at Santa Pod Raceway on the 1/4 mile fully prepped surface. The event will be preceded by Run What Ya Brung on Saturday with all vehicles welcome.
To enter for Straightliners Championship Finals the Entry form is at this link, and online entry for cars and bikes for Sunday can be bought at this link. Camping and Saturday run what you brung is also available, click on this link.
Championships will be decided in several bike categories, with double points to be awarded. Race Legends has been wrapped up by Colin Fallows, congratulations to him. The 6.00 index class (to be run to a quarter mile index of 9.10) is between David Storrie, Rob Briers and Mark Taylor. In the Straightliners No Mercy Shootout Andy Higham is leading a trio of Ashley Hodgson, Carl Mountford and Phil Tomlinson all of whom are on the same points total, with Trevor Houlden and Terry Mountford also in with a shout. Juniors are led by William Mountford over Amy Wolstenholme. Oldschool Ultimate Street Bike Stock is led by Darron Trowell over Mickey Blackburn, Oldschool Ultimate Street Bike Modified has Alan Seeley and Roy Chappell on the same points total.
The Old School Stockers will also be racing the final round of their five round championship. At the previous round in Jurby Claire Rule defeated Kevin Melling in the final and we will report on the championship outcome after the race.
Shark Attack season review.
14th October: Thanks to Simone from Shark Attack Drag Racing for sending a review of the multi-bike team's 2022 season:
After two years with Corona vicissitudes, suddenly there was season 2022. In March the world was still partially locked down and traveling was a lot more difficult, however in April the redeeming word came. There was to be a European Drag Race Championship!
Fortunately we hadn't been sitting still the 2 years before and we were ready. René van den Berg would compete in the premier class Top Fuel Bike, Aswin le Noble would compete in the Pro Stock Bike class and Anouk Burgering would participate in the FIM-E cup in the Junior Drag Bike class.
The competitions that formed the European Championship were Main Event, Santa Pod England; Tierp Arena, Sweden; Nitrolympx at the Hockeheimring, Germany; and European Finals, Santa Pod England. Anouk, racing in Junior Drag Bike, would ride at the same competitions except Tierp in Sweden.
In addition to the above competitions, other competitions would also be occasionally participated. First of all there was the Easter Festival of Power at Santa Pod, the opening competition of the season with Rene, Aswin and Anouk all racing. The first race of the season was very helpful. René decided not to race on the final day as some things had to be sorted out, Aswin tinkered and learned a lot and Anouk survived the 1st elimination round, but was too fast in the 2nd round ending 3rd in the competition!
On May 8, we were at Circuit Park Zandvoort with the entire team. We were allowed to make a a number of runs there and furthermore we were able to promote our great sponsors!
On May 27, the first competition for the European Championship was held at Santa Pod, England. What a weekend! Unfortunately, Anouk's motorcycle let her down after two runs, this could not be solved on the spot. Still a third place for her. Aswin still have some problems but know how to tinker away, end result 2nd! René drove very consistently this weekend and finished in a deserved 1st place!
On June 10 there were the Drachten Nationals. After four years, finally we were able to drive again on home soil. The entire team, except René, entered the race. For René, the drag strip is short so he enjoyed himself helping the rest of the team. This was a super fun weekend. Anouk was still interviewed by the Youth News at this link.
2nd July, Summer Nationals, Santa Pod
Fortunately, all riders were able to make a number of runs. And every weekend we ran, we become wiser about the motorcycles. We just kept learning. This weekend everyone has luckily been able to make normal runs. René had a top run this weekend, a Personal Best of 6.05 seconds, with a terminal speed of 394 km per hour! As a result, René rose 3 places on the list of fastest times in the world!
The weekend of August 12, René and Aswin competed for the European Championship paddle in Tierp, Sweden. Between the 1st and 2nd round FIM there was a lot of time due to the cancellation of two events. We made good use of this time, so René and Aswin went to Sweden well prepared. Unfortunately, only a very small part of our team was present here.
The next race was at the Hockenheimring in Germany with the entire team there from the start.
26th-28th August, Nitrolympx, Hockenheimring Germany, an event where all riders came out, so full throttle! René, Aswin, Anouk, Hannes Burgering and Patrick Lenaers (the latter two in ET Bike) were racing. Qualifying took place on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday there were eliminations where René and Aswin again won prizes. On Saturday evening there was the Nightshow. It's a big event with a huge audience. René was invited to appear at the start there, which is definitely an honour.
After 8 days at home, working and servicing the engines again, we went back to Santa Pod for the last race of the championship. At the start of the weekend, René led the ranking in his class, Aswin was ranked 2nd in Pro Stock Bike and Anouk was 4th in the juniors. Due to weather conditions there were very few runs. Unfortunately, if a run doesn't start well, you will be punished immediately. This weekend did not bring us what we had hoped for but overall, season 2022:
Final standings FIM European Championship:
René van den Berg, Top Fuel Bike 2nd
Aswin le Noble, Pro Stock Bike, 3rd
Anouk Burgering, Junior Bike 3rd
For dessert, everyone drove at National Finals, Santa Pod. Every run gives a piece of experience, knowledge of the motorcycle but above all a lot of adrenaline and fun!!
We would like to thank all sponsors for the trust in us. We have no shame for 2022 and will go even harder next year!
Iconic doorslammers for sale.
14th October: Within a couple of days, two cars that can only be described as iconic in UK drag racing have come up for sale.
DM Racing through crew member Jack Williams, have announced that "With much regret we are selling our car due to retirement from the sport." In its current form, the Shogun Mk1 Capri has been part of the sport in the UK since 2008 with team led by Pel Norman, however the car's history goes back to 1984 with Pel and team mates Stretch Harrison and Michael 'Frank' Francis. Stretch and Frank then shared the driving of the Shogun Capri with Pel on the crew in Modified Eliminator.
The team then went circuit racing from 1999 to 2005 and ran a pickup and Legends at Rockingham. Buying the car back from its new owners in 2004, they found it to be in less than pristine condition and a £3,000 rebuild turned out to be £35,000 in expenditure with a new chassis from Dean Forward of P9 raceshop (now Forward Motorsport) in Barnsley tagged to 7.50. The Shogun Capri is for sale as a rolling chassis with a price for £25,000 (excluding shipping and taxes). And DM Racing? Think Danger Mouse, whose image is still on the hind flank. The car has run a best of 7.568/184.94 at Santa Pod.
Dave Evans and team have the Doomsday Impala for sale as a rolling rolling chassis for £30,000. Dave says "We are scaling down our operation, my Covenant cargo trailer and truck are still for sale. You can put "Dooms" in the trailer and drive away £36,000 or put "Dooms" in the trailer and hook up my F350 and drive away for £45,000." Dave is also up to trade, swap, or do a deal for a street/strip muscle car.
When the Doomsday Impala first appeared in 2011, Dave said at the time "It was a three year build which I undertook with Andrew Bennett, I wanted something different and we are big Impala fans. The car is quite light thanks to a chrome moly tube chassis which has been tagged to 6.0s." The car has run consistently in the low eights and its best was 7.916/171.08.
14th October: Nigel Charman says "A Happy 80th Birthday to Bill Ewins of the Timelord Altered and Atomic Rebel dragster from the 70/80s." Nigel adds Bill still follows the sport and we join him in wishing Bill a Happy Birthday.
Happy Birthday for today to Top Fuel Bike racer Shawn Rodman and FWD VW racer Ant Mincher. We hope Shawn and Ant have a fantastic day.
Dark Horse Racing season review.
13th October: Thanks to Lee Huxley who has been in touch with a 2022 season review of Dark Horse Racing:
Our 2021 season wrapped up with “Who knows what 2022 will bring", but Lee said “Bigger and better things are to come in 2022." You never know what challenges are going to be thrown at you and 2022 proved to be far from straight forward at Dark Horse HQ.
After purchasing the Dark Horse Mustang outright from Brian at the start of the year, we had plans to step up to Super Pro ET with a new engine combination. We were rocked early on with the death of our long-time engine builder and friend Tim Hines in February. Not only did we lose a great friend, but we lost a valuable source of advice and information on getting the new engine setup and in place.
As part of our plans to go quicker over the winter we had the chassis upgraded and tagged to 7.50 and the gearbox refreshed/upgraded, but after only a handful of runs at the Festival of Power, in the 1st round against Dave Fulton we didn’t take the green as we couldn’t engage 1st gear. Gearbox said no.
The gearbox was rebuilt this time with straight cut gears. However at The Spring Speed Nationals we were still experiencing issues causing us to miss the first two qualifiers (thank you Richard Walters for the fix). During eliminations we made it to the semi finals, though we couldn’t make the call as we’d dropped a valve in the quarter final against Dave Cherrett. It really wasn’t looking like it was going to be our year!
With The Doorslammers (one of our season highlights) only three weeks away, fixing the engine was going to be tight but we were determined to get there. So with a set of new valves and skimmed heads (thanks to Trevor and the team at ASD), we were ready to go again on the Thursday before the event. The hard work paid off with a £5,000 winner’s cheque on the Saturday beating Jon Turner in the final, though more bad luck came on the Sunday suffering some more engine damage in the 2nd round against Dave Cherrett.
With a new engine on the horizon and with the damage suffered, we were resigned to retiring Dark Horse 1.0 and missed both the Main Event and Summer Nationals and with much disappointment cancelled our planned European trips to France and Germany. However a weekend trip in Sportsman E.T at The Bugjam resulted in a great weekend away so it wasn’t all bad!
With various hold-ups with the new engine build, mainly due to parts being delayed, there was only so much sitting on the side-lines we could take. So we took the plunge to rebuild the existing engine with what parts we could beg/borrow. (Thanks again to Trevor Hirst and the team at ASD Engines), introducing Triggers Broom…
The second half of our season proved to be much better, Triggers Broom managed to run consistently between 9.36 and 9.49 which made dialling things in a little easier. On our return at The Greenlight Nationals we managed to qualify #7 out of 17 in the Big Bracket class. Though a red light against Stuart Doignie in Round 2 saw us out – but it was great to be back at it!
At the penultimate event of the season The Euro Finals we just about squeezed into the field qualifying 27 out of 32 – a 0.0446 bump is good going (that’s why we love Pro E.T!) Eliminations saw us get past Dave Cherrett in the 1st round – a good sign the Cherrett curse may have passed. One of Lee’s highlights was taking on Stuart Doignie in a tight race in the Semi Final. Then to make it all the way to the final against Marc (The first all Huxley final) with Darkhorse taking the win this time around just topped off the event.
At the National Finals we managed our best qualifying position of the year number #5 0.0097 off but losing in the 2nd round against Will Clark. It was great to see our passenger rides as part of the Hayley Hadfield Charity Auction raising £700 for the cause. So one more event for Trigger's Broom with a little seat time for Brian.
Bigger and better things for 2023? Yes for a new engine and to finally run Super Pro E.T. Thanks Team Dark Horse crew Slap and Richard Bell and the Huxley family. Also thanks to the whole team at Santa Pod Raceway.
Not forgetting our sponsors of course for their continued support: Blackpole recycling, Bradfords Building Supplies, PJ Home Improvements, M F Hydraulics, B A Hirons, Blackpole Powder Coating, ASD engines, VP Fuels, Mark Twigg Heating Services, GG Holloway and Sons, SB Plumbing and Heating, Hafren Environmental Associates, Willis Westcott Roofing Supplies, Maverick Diagnostics, Zannetec and Serck Motorsport.
ATD 2023 dates.
13th October: The Association-Trophee-Dragster have announced their dates for the 2023 season, all events taking place at Clastres Raceway and sponsored by Speedflex:
20th-21st May - 20th European Dragster
24th-25th June - 21st European Dragster
29th-30th July - 22nd European Dragster Speed Final.
More information will be posted later at the ATD at website and their Facebook page. As a taster, have a look at their Facebook promotional video by Luc Vanmeerbeck.
13th October: Happy Birthday for today to Pro ET racer and sponsor Mike Lacey, Supercharged Outlaw racer Aaron Windridge, UK Nostalgia Superstock supporter Yvonne O'Rourke, from the US Team Thermoreg Funny Car crew chief Wayne Dupuy, We Did It For Love webmaster Don Ewald and Malta Escort racer Steve Pace. Have a great day all.
Best wishes to Supercharged Outlaw racer Simon Boot who is recovering after a minor stroke, hope you are back to full health soon Simon. Also we send all our best to Outlaw Street racer George Ralph who is in hospital recovering from an operation. We hope you will be back at the track soon George.
Kieran has updated to his Mk1Kieran Youtube a video of the Japshow Finale at Santa Pod last Sunday (excluding the Sports Compact Shootout which is at this link) which you can see by clicking here.
2023 SPRC Dinner Dance.
12th October: Santa Pod Racers Club are pleased to announce that the 2023 Dinner and Trophy Night, to recognise our Championship Winners and Runners up, will be back at Stadium MK on Saturday, 18 February 2023 (address: Stadium Way West, Milton Keynes, MK1 1ST).
The arrangements are as follows :
Please be seated by 6.15pm, presentations will begin at 6.30pm prompt with Dinner will be served at 7.15pm.
Tickets are £40/adult and £20/child 12 and under, which includes a three course set meal plus tea/coffee and mints. You can book your places up to a group of 10 on the online form at santapodracersclub.com. The online form has menu details; the children’s menu will be chicken nuggets and chips followed by ice cream.
If you have any special dietary requirements, please contact Yvonne at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can accommodate your needs. Please do not approach the hotel with requests. Seating will be 10 per table, therefore if you require more than one table please complete a second online form.
SPRC have negotiated a preferential rate for rooms at the hotel with prices at £80/single or £90/double including breakfast. To book a room please call the DoubleTree on 01908 364170, ask for ‘In House Reservations’ mentioning that you are attending the SPRC Dinner and quote Ref : GSPRCD. Alternatively, if may be easier if you book online by clicking here. For a double room you will need to click ‘Edit Stay’, at the top of the page, and change details to 2 persons.
If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact Yvonne by email or phone on 07762 195729.
See you there.
More details of Jon Morton's funeral.
12th October: Thanks to Heide Stanley for more details about the funeral of Jon Morton which will take place at 11am on Friday 14th October at Dorchester Abbey, High St, Dorchester, OX10 7HH, afterwards at Benson Parish Hall, Sunnyside, Benson, OX10 6LZ until 5pm and then at the Three Horse Shoes in Benson. Refreshments will be provided at the Parish Hall and there will also be a bar (cash only).
"The dress code is whatever you feel comfortable in, Hawaiian shirts, Race Shirts etc.
"If you are planning to attend can you please ensure that you are at the Abbey by 10.30am as there will be a walk from the car park. Please follow signs for Event Parking.
"For those who are unable to attend you can watch the service on Facebook at this link. "If you would prefer to watch via Zoom, please let me know and I will send on the details.
"We would like flowers to be family only and have therefore set-up a memorial page with donations link if you would like to donate to one of the charities close to Jon.
"Thank you all for your love and support over the past few weeks."
2022 Melbourne Raceway champions.
12th October: Congratulations to the 2022 Melbourne Raceway champions:
Duck All Prep and Pro Extreme Car: Pete Youhill
Pro ET: Bob Molden
Sportsman ET: Pete Eborall
Race Legends: Colin Fallows
6.00 Class: David Storrie
Straightliners No Mercy Shootout: Andy Higham
Juniors: William Mountford
Scooters: Eric Cope
Thanks to Martyn Greathead of Straightliners for compiling the points which you can see in detail at the Straightliners results repository. The overall Straightliners points will be published after their final round at Santa Pod Raceway this Sunday.
Bond, Hannis & Osborne running bests.
12th October: Many thanks to Supercharged Outlaws race Joe Bond who tells us of pleasing progress with his Nothing Too Fancy blown alky slingshot in 2022:
The last few years have been very stop start, what with the pandemic in 2020 and then a mixed season in 2021 due to weather, covid isolation and general issues with the car.
The Hot Rod Drags in 2020 did have the one exception where through the engine issues we ran what felt like a 'Hail Mary' 6.29 @ 226 out of nowhere. We were obviously over the moon with such a run, but given the following few years, it felt a bit like a flash in the pan.
2022 came around and early indications at the NSRA Nostalgia Nationals looked promising with good early numbers, and we were full of high hopes going into Dragstalgia. The first run of 6.50 felt good but low MPH indicated we still hadn't sorted the problems, and it was a bitter pill to swallow that we missed the final by 3 hundredths of a second!
Martyn, Dad and Lawrence went back to the drawing board, and after some technical feedback, and some hard truths for me as a driver, we believe we found what was causing our issues!
The Hot Rod Drags came about last month and we were duly rewarded with a early run of 6.28@219, which we improved on to a 6.20@220 later that day. The Sunday came about and with another 6.28@224, the Hot Rods showed the potential the combination has and we are looking to progress and break into the 6.1's.
I was contacted by the guys at Draglist.com, and we now have the 4th quickest Blown methanol slingshot in the world, but I didn't realise that the 226mph run from 2020 is the 2nd fastest, so we are obviously very pleased!
Wanted to say a huge thank you to Martyn Hannis, my parents Doug and Jayne, Lawrence, Wife Melanie for all their support! Also a huge thank you to Shawn and Krista Van Horn at Titan Speed Engineering for their product sponsorship for 2022 and beyond.
Finally a big thank you to Andy Fadster and everyone behind the scenes with the Supercharged Outlaws, we look forward to racing with you all next season.
I've had a lot of people ask if we can beat Dennis Priddles 6.04. It's not something we are openly targeting, and if we get anywhere near then we will be very pleased. But you never know!
Paul Whitehouse's art calendar.
12th October: Drag Racing artist Paul Whitehouse has been in touch with news of his 2023 Drag Racing paintings calendar. Paul says:
"For a number of years people have been asking if I'd ever considered producing a calendar of my work. So this year I've decided to go ahead and get a limited number produced. With Christmas not far away it would make an ideal gift for any drag racing fan.
Looking back over the many I've produced over the years it was very difficult to choose the ones for inclusion. I've depicted so many I have enough to fill a calendar of images of each class of drag racing!, but these are just a few of my favourites that I've painted...some older, some more recent, featuring both cars and bikes taken from a catalogue of my work from the last few years. I hope you enjoy them!
There are only going to be 50 calendars printed and each will be numbered and signed. They are full colour, A3 size - 42.0cm x 29.7cm (16.5" x 11.7"), premium quality printed on 250gsm paper with plenty of room for notes and race dates.
The calendars should be with me, and ready for shipping, early next month. I envisage of price of around £19.50 each plus P+P.
Please email me at email@example.com to register interest and I will be able to let you have more details."
12th October: Happy Birthday for today to UK Tech Crew member and Top Methanol team member Tim Read, German Funny Bike racer Stefan Hagenstein, Malta FWD racer Marvic Galea and former Top Fuel racer Tommy Möller. We hope you all have a wonderful day.
The latest upload by Kieran to his Mk1Kieran Youtube is video of the Run What Ya Brung at Santa Pod last Saturday which you can see by clicking here.
Video from Melbourne Raceway covering last weekend's Grand Finale can be found on Youtube. Duck All Prep promoter Lee Child has posted videos at his LA Lee channel. The Youtube channel Spotted Motors of Michael Castle and Dale Ackworth has a video of Michael's Duck All Prep twin turbo LS engined Cortina which you can see at this link, Michael enjoying his entry into the unofficial Melbourne 5-Second Club.
Talking of the unofficial Melbourne Raceway 5-Second Club, photographer Ashley Dale has set up a list of the best ETs recorded at Melbourne Raceway since it reopened which you can see by clicking here.
Linda Wilson celebration of life online link.
11th October: A reminder that Linda Wilson's Celebration of Life Service will take place at 1.30pm tomorrow at Easthampstead Park Crematorium and afterwards at the Meade Hall, Crown & Cushion in Minley. Anyone wishing to attend will be very welcome, please contact Dave Wilson in advance if you are planning to attend.
You can also see the service online at watch.obitus.com as user Luje2872 with password 676095. Donations will be very welcome via her tribute page.
Melbourne Raceway Grand Finale results.
11th October: Congratulations to the winners at the weekend's Grand Finale held at Melbourne Raceway:
UK Nostalgia Superstock: Ben Fielder (pictured below right) (7.65) 7.73/93 def. Nick Martin (8.80) 8.79/78 breakout
Duck All Prep: Pete Youhill (Pontiac Firebird 9.5 Ltr) 5.86/122 def. Michael Castle (Ford Cortina 5.3 Ltr) 6.20/121 (best of 3)
NSCC Eliminations (Saturday): Ian Walley (Ford Cortina '68 5.7 Ltr) 6.82/116 def. Nick Gunby (Ford Mustang '87 5.8 Ltr) 8.86/86
NSCC Eliminations (Sunday): Ian Walley 6.36/119 def. Stephen Gilmour (Ford 100e Anglia) 8.78/91
Class 6.00: David Storrie (BMW S1000RR) 6.46/123 def. Mark Taylor (Hayabusa 1300cc) 6.81/103
Race Legends: Colin Fallows, unopposed
No Mercy Shootout (Bikes): Tina Taylor (X9 Special) (9.30) 9.34/76 def. Jack Frost (Holeshot Turbo Busa) (6.20) 6.17/139 breakout
No Mercy Shootout (Scooters): Ade Horrocks (Vespa Primavera 149cc) (8.10) 8.01/85 def. Eric Cope (Lambretta 248cc) (8.30) 8.20/88
No Mercy Shootout (Juniors):Arron Gregory (Gilera DNA special 70cc) (12.15) 12.25/53 def. Jack Taylor (Spiderman) (12.00) 12.45/54
Full detailed results are available on the Straightliners results repository, many thanks to Martyn Greathead of Straightliners for producing and posting them.
No Mercy Shootout victor Tina Taylor (pictured left) said "Well what a day! I’m still absolutely buzzing! After starting at Melbourne this season having never even rode a bike I actually managed to win the No Mercy Shootout against the amazing Jack Frost! This is thanks to so many people including family, friends and everyone at Melbourne who gave me the encouragement and advice I most certainly needed (especially Phil Gilson). The biggest thank you however goes to my dad Tony Taylor because if it wasn’t for him, it wouldn’t be possible."
You can check out our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored Northern Street Legal Shootout results and galleries by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link in the main menu at the top of the page. Please join Simon in thanking former editor Tog for supplying the galleries and posting results over the race weekend.
Photographers have been quick to post their work from the weekend. Mad Welshman Photography has posted a Facebook album of 190 photos from Saturday at this link. Bad Yeti Kustom Print, aka Steve Purdon, has posted a Facebook album of 279 photos from Saturday which you can see by clicking here. PWPics (Pete and Wendy) have also posted an album on Facebook which you can see by clicking here.
We will announce Melbourne Raceway champions in due course and also announce 2023 dates and other events in due course. In the meantime, one date for your diaries at Melbourne Raceway is the Northern Swap Meet held by the NSRA being held on 23rd October, more details at this link.
11th October: Happy Birthday for today to Pro Modified and AA/FA crew member Scott Barnes, Top Methanol Dragster racer Timo Habermann and BMW doorslammer racer Harvey Bhogal, we hope you have a great day.
Skerritt victorious in Japshow Finale Shootout.
10th October: Congratulations to Calvin Skerritt (pictured) who was the winner of the Sports Compact Shootout held at Santa Pod Raceway over the weekend as part of the Japshow Finale event.
In winning £1,000, Calvin in a Honda Civic 1800cc qualified #2 with a 8.8309/164.89 after Ahmed Jamshaid had run new PB of 8.7933/171.09 to qualify #1, a later firstname.lastname@example.org being disallowed. These two were the eight second runners in the 32 car field. Runner up Jorel Wells, also in a Honda Civic, 2400cc without power adders, won £500 after a string of 9s passes.
During qualifying (click here for qualifying details in pdf format) there was mechanical attrition with several cars - including Calvin - suffering significant engine damage, and having to swap engines overnight. Others with problems preventing first round appearances included Lee Openshaw who had a failed head gasket, Allan Duthie whose Corsa engine had a broken rod in his burnout and Chris Backshell with metal filings in his oil.
Other personal bests came from Sean Prout who ran email@example.com, Dean Hyndman who ran firstname.lastname@example.org in his Ford Fiesta, both runs being their first in the nines. Lisette De Koning ran her first ten, 10.85@126. You can see elimination results by clicking here.
Thanks to Kieran for supplying galleries for both the qualifying at the Saturday RWYB and the Japshow Finale on Sunday. You can see Kieran's galleries and full qualifying and elimination details by clicking here or going via the Event Coverage list in the main menu. Thanks to John Woolfe Racing for their sponsorship of event coverage. Kieran's video of the Sports Compact Shootout is also live on Youtube at this link.
Video from Japshow finale is on Youtube at the channels of J55 Swifty and Czech Engine. Santa Pod's own Facebook album is at this link.
You can see video from the tower with commentary by Luke Stevenson and read snippets from racers by going to the European FWD Facebook page, which you can 'like' to get help Luke and his team break through the 50,000 mark. Thanks to Luke for the information and snippets, and to the Santa Pod timing team for timing data.
10th October: Happy Birthday for today to Comp Eliminator racer George Chiarella, former Wild Bunch racer Mark Slattery aka "Digger Sid", Street Eliminator racer Ray Tucker and from Malta dragster racer Roderick Fenech. Have a great day guys.
You can see the video of the Hot Wheels UK Legends Tour 2022 on the Car Throttle channel on Youtube at this link, involving at least two drag cars. We won't spoil the announcement of the winner...
Come back tomorrow for the results from Melbourne Raceway at the weekend's Grand Finale meeting.
Oliver wins NSS lifestyle championship.
9th October: Following our prediction that the UK Nostalgia Superstock championship would be down to Stuart 'Kiwi' Thompson and Dave Billadeau, with James Oliver not attending the Melbourne Raceway Grand Finale this weekend, the championship went to James after Kiwi and Dave qualified towards the bottom end of the field, leaving Kiwi with two rounds to win to secure the title and Dave out of mathematical contention.
Following a round one loss, Kiwi was only able to accumulate 160 points from the weekend which were then deducted as the worst of his four races attended, so even a 200 points all rounds bonus was not enough to give him the points lead. Whether Kiwi maintains his second place depends on how many rounds Dave goes, winning the race would give Dave the runner up spot.
Stop press: Dave had a mechanical mishap in his burnout for the semi final against newcomer Ben Fielder and a pool of oil spelt the end of his bid for runner-up. The final was Ben Fielder who defeated a breaking-out Nick Martin who had defeated Adrian Portelli in the other semi final.
Congratulations to Pete Youhill on winning the Melbourne Raceway Duck All Prep championship after a best of three against Michael Castle's turbo LS powered Cortina Mk4.
You can see the end Saturday results from Melbourne at this link with thanks to former Editor Tog for posting galleries from each day of the race. We will announce the winners of the rest of the race tomorrow with Melbourne championship positions a day or so later. Thanks to Martyn Greathead of Straightliners for calculating and posting Melbourne championship points. Video from yesterday has already been posted by Dave Anthony aka Rat Ford.
The Straightliners bike championship concludes at Santa Pod Raceway next Sunday.
9th October: Happy Birthday to superfan, seen on many photos with late husband Neil, Sue Hunter, we hope you are having a lovely day Sue.
Melbourne Raceway Grand Finale coverage.
8th October: Former editor Tog is in place at Melbourne Raceway this weekend to cover the Grand Finale taking place there, and will be posting galleries and end-day results. Coverage sponsored by John Woolfe Racing can be seen via the event index at this link.
We will endeavour to post the results of the final round of UK Nostalgia Superstock later this evening.
FIM-E season review.
8th October: Job Heezen of FIM-E has posted an end-of season wrap up which summarises the highlights of the 2022 season and looks forward to the future:
Pictured: FIM-E Top Fuel Bike champion Rickard Gustafsson, FIM-E Super Twin champion Marcus Christiansen.
Now most of the prize monies have been paid to the racers it's about time to wrap-up the season. For unknown reasons it has taken some extra time to get the money out but there is very good news to tell : the organising body of the Santa Pod Finals has decided to pay all foreign riders not just the prescribed normal travel money but to double the amount instead. This is done to support the racers in these difficult times. Bear in mind that this is a well chosen but totally volunteer action, showing the commitment of the promotor towards the FIM-E European championship. A very important action showing that, even in these challenging times for tracks, they share the burdens of the time we live in. No need to sum up the issues we're facing, just check the evening news and you know what I'm talking about.
FIM-E has undergone a period of significant cost-cutting measures in order to drop the charges and make sure no unneeded money is taken away from the racing and the racers. And all this without sacrifising the level of support and commitment. There are still some hard nuts to crack but you can be assured that we will continue to work on those. We are also facing issues that we can't control, one of them is the ongoing Brexit/carnet story. It seems like things are turning into a better direction but all is not cleared yet.
We have been criticized for not being on top of the matter but all I can say is this : a number of people have done a lot of work to manage the situation which was a mission impossible when organisations who make the rules don't even understand how to implement their own rules. All in all I think the issue was not as bad as we feared for and we will keep on monitoring the developements and advise on it the best we can.
Despite all this we can look back on an interesting season in my opinion. In all 4 events I have seen a lot of positive. Some very nice on-track battles, a number of top-level performances in different classes, championship's that have been decided just at the last race or even the last run of the year. We have been racing twice at Santa Pod that showed once again their status of one of the best venues worldwide, both times with huge crowds of 30.000+ paying visitors.
We also had the chance to be back racing at Tierp that hadn't been scheduled since 2019. A well organised event which is a performance as such after this rusty period. And also before a huge crowd of spectators, estimated on a number of 35.000. I can't remember having seen so many on the grandstands since the first race some 10 years ago at the openings race of the Tierp Arena. In between the famous Nitrolympx of Hockenheim, same thing here, a record of 54.000 spectators this time. No issues at all and according to long-time racer Rikard Gustafsson, this years event was the best ever he had been to in all these years coming to Germany.
Pictured: FIM-E Pro Stock Bike champion Martin Newbury, FIM-E Super Street Bike champion Daniel Lencses, FIM-E Junior Drag Bike Cup champion Hollie King.
There is a lot of positive to go from here. Having these 4 events with so many fans shows that the sport is alive and kicking. It also brings in the needed money to get things organised. If we like it or not, we need that money to have events at this level. Therefore we will continue to focus on combined car/bike events for the European championships. It makes it possible to have events with this unique character. No matter how far you will travel over the globe, you will have a hard time to find events that can match ours. So there is everything to fight for I guess.
To end the story of the 2022 season, I would like to stress that we need the commitment of the racers to enter our events. Make sure you use your race- bikes what they are made for, racing. They are not made for exhibitions or even worse, collecting dust in a shed. And start planning to race and try to find partners to travel which can drop the costs of racing significantly. We need to get the entries up again, there is no racing without you. And so I'm back again to the opening sentences of this story : why it is so important that a promotor pays extra money to help racers financially. It shows that we are all in this boat together and must try to make next season better than the season before...
Happy Birthday Keith Parnell!
8th October: Funny Bike racer Lorcan Parnell wishes his dad, drag bike racer great in the 1970s, Keith Parnell, a Happy Birthday today:
Keith Parnell's birthday tomorrow, 8th October. He will be 86 and still follows our efforts at racing Storm with his old teammate, Mick Hand. A mention on ED would be lovely. Here he is in the early days, being the original Spiderman on his Velocette sprinter.
Uncle Derek Parnell painted the helmets of their friends with different insects (I know, spiders aren't insects). Derek was a sprinter too but didn't follow Keith into drag racing.
Keith's moment in the sun was running the first 8 by a non-American at Santa Pod in 1975.
8th October: A busy day for birthdays today. Happy Birthday to Street Eliminator racer Al Williamson, Pro ET and Super Comp racer Allan Schofield, Pro ET racer Sean Law, and Malta doorslammer racers Mario Muscat and Joe Galea. We hope you all have a great day.
Gasser Circus season review.
7th October: Thanks to Gasser Cirus co-odinator Nick Brooke Langham who has sent his report on the conclusion of a fantastic season for the category:
2022 saw the Gasser Circus Showdown expand to be contested over 6 Rounds of racing, instead of the previous 5. The season begun at Melbourne Raceway, with a win for Sean Milsom in his outstanding ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’ Morris van. At the next 4 rounds we had a different winner, with Martyn Hallam in his 33 Willys ‘Hallam Hallam & Couch’ taking the Nostalgia Nationals, Retro Weekend was won by Lee Pike in his ‘Honky Tonkin’ 2 Nova, Dragstalgia winner was Ray Irish in his ‘Gas Junkie’ Willys Pickup and Gasser Circus debutant Nick Hewison took the win at Mopars with his ‘Short Fuse’ Fordson.
As the Circus rolled into Santa Pod for the final round it was Sean who was still at the top of the standings, due to the points he had also picked up at the previous events. Without being presumptuous he looked odds on to take his 4th Championship. However, he would be chased all the way by 3 others drivers still in contention, Ray Irish, Billy Jones and with an outside chance Tom Margesson. With Gassers arriving in the pits, it was with disappointment and some sadness, when Sean confirmed he would not be racing at this the final round.
Life has a way of refocusing your mind and so it was that Sean’s priorities were with his family over the weekend. This news, had a knock on effect on the Championship, as it now looked like a 3 way shoot out instead of 4. Of course there were another group of Gassers all determined to ensure they influenced the outcome of this year’s race series. Taking a win against any of the top contenders would be a feather in each drivers cap. The run to the title looked far from over and so it turned out to be.
Saturday and qualifying was soon underway, with not only a crisp cold feel to the air, but also a healthy tail wind which assisted with several Personal Bests being recorded. It also began with a new Gasser joining the ranks, with Chris Layram and his ‘Outa Gas’ Ford pop seeing its first track action after its build by Tony Pearson. With only 3 qualifying runs on Saturday, it looked like Ray Irish and his ‘Gas Junkie’ Willys pickup was on his way to the title as he sat at number 1 qualifier with a superb 10.1119 on a 10.11 dial in. However, it was wise of Ray not to get ahead of himself as in the final round of qualifying Katie Booth running her ‘The Mighty Mouse’ Pop, ripped off a stunning 10.3000 on a 10.30 dial in, an outstanding perfect dial in. Katie was delighted and over the moon as were the Honky Tonkin crew who without their 57 Chevy, were crewing on Katie’s Pop this weekend as husband Ted cruised around in the mobility scooter seen at previous meetings as he recovers from foot surgery.
Saturday night on the track is Cracklefest which was well attended with 3 Gassers on parade. Jason Pickett and his ‘Cherry Bomb’ 55 Chevy, Tom Margesson and John Gumble’s ‘Tinsel Town Hustler’, and Paul Dominey in his Austin Dorset. Saturday night in the Gasser Circus pits, was awards time, with a fine selection of spoof awards handed out to each driver in recognition of their shortcomings, failings or moments worth revisiting.
On Sunday morning the wind had dropped slightly but the bitter cold was still reminding you to wrap up warm. Various and numerous permutations showed a somewhat confusing way the Championship could be decided. The simplest one was for Ray Irish to keep going rounds and stay ahead of Billy and Tom. As the day unfolded, I do not think anyone would have imagined what would happen, but it was an amazing end to another great Gasser Circus season.
Round one of eliminations got underway with Paul Dominey and he left early on Tom Margesson handing the win to Tom. Simon Glenn dialled 11.45 and ran a winning 11.46 against Jason Hollamby in his ‘Jumpin Jalapeno’ Ford. Katie Booth and Nick Hewison ‘Short Fuse’ Fordson had the Ford battle with Katie coming out on top. Patrick Hobbs in his ‘Southern Flyed’ Ford Falcon beat Lee Pike in his ‘Honky Tonkin’ 2 Nova. Billy Jones ‘Grumpy Grizz’ Willys Coupe saw of the challenge of debutant Chris Layram, Adam Kruczynski in his ‘Not So Mellow Yellow’ 55 Chevy failed on the line with a misfire in the battle of the 55 Chevy’s, handing the win to Jason Pickett in his ‘Cherry Bomb’ Chevy.
Ray Irish lined up against the resurgent Ray Turner in his ‘Green Onions’ 55 Chevy, unfortunately for Ray Turner he pulled a cherry, and Ray Irish moved into round 2 of eliminations. The Championship still up for grabs.
At 1:30 the superb Santa Pod crew called the Gasser Circus to the fire up road for Round 2 of eliminations. Within the pits all was not well with Simon Glenn, as he was desperately willing power into his discharged battery, as without the required 12 volts his MSD was not coming out to play. As Gassers fired and headed past the Café before entering the fire road, there was no sign of Simon and his ‘Straight Shooter’ Austin Pickup.
As the Gassers pulled into their pairings, news reached Billy that Ray Irish (his title contender) was on a bye with the no show from Simon. Patrick Hobbs in his Falcon and Tom Margesson ‘The Tinseltown Hustler’ Pop came to the line. Tom knew to keep his charge to the title he had to win this race and go on to win the final, Patrick had other ideas taking the victory with an 11.40 on an 11.38 to Tom’s 10.70 on a 10.59. Toms tilt at the title was over.
Katie Booth was on a bye, and Billy knew he had to win his run against Jason Pickett, as various Gasser crews watched both cars leave the line and run side by side we all looked towards the finish line gantry as the win light went on in Jason’s lane. Was Billy’s title chase also over, all Ray had to do to be certain of taking his first Championship was stage and break the beams. Buts as we turned to see the ‘Gas Junkie’ Willys come round, we were greeted by the sight of Ray walking towards us race jacket flailing in the wind without his helmet on. He too had suffered mechanical issues and the Willys would not fire. However, a quick review of the standings and the celebrations could begin as despite not making this round, Ray was still head on the points, and he had just secured his first Championship, taking the Gasser Circus Showdown for 2022.
Hugs and handshakes all round with a few kisses! Ray a staunch supporter of the Gasser Circus for many years had taken a memorable victory. With his pickup up stranded at the end of the fire up road, we suddenly saw Simon coming down lane 1, he momentarily seeing the Willys at the end thought he still had a chance, but his opportunity to race had passed.
The semi – final was a strange affair as both drivers ended up on bye runs to the final. Patrick was due to be racing Katie, but it transpired that Katie suffered engine issues on her previous run. With Both Jason and Patrick concluding their semi-finals they began their preparation for the final. Jason was buzzing and just like Patrick this was an opportunity to take their first win in the Gasser Circus.
Both drivers lit up their slicks in the burnout box and edged their cars to the line, Patrick had dialled in 11.40 with Jason dialling in 11.04. We had a green light race as both Gassers left the line together and stayed like that all the way down the quartermile, as they hit the line side by side, the gantry lights and Colin in the commentator’s booth told the story. Patrick broke out running 11.36 thereby handing the win to a very excited and delighted Jason, who had run 11.07.
In an ironic twist, Jason had been looking after the winners' trophies supplied by Neil Melliard in the week running up to the event. The Winner's Pin was wrapped up and no one knew what colour it was. But as it was unwrapped it turned out to be the same colour as Jason’s 55 Chevy a befitting end to a challenging and awesome season.
6 rounds of racing with 6 different winners, new cars, 16 plus fields, a whole host of PBs and a new Gasser Circus Champion - Ray Irish. What more could you want, I know, it was so good, let’s all do it again in 2023.
The Gasser Circus wish to thank their superb sponsors Neil Melliard Modern Pinstriping & Lettering, www.melliardsign.co.uk, The Rocket Racing Team, and our supporters Serck Services, Renegade Fuels and the NSRA.
Finally a huge thank you to all the staff that ensure we can go racing each year and do all the work behind the scenes. See you all next year.
AA/FAs at Bakersfield - and Oxfordshire.
7th October: It's not every day you accidentally meet up with two AA/FA legends, but a meeting at Havoc AA/FA racer and Pro Modified racer Nick Davies resulted in such a co-incidence. Nick answered the phone and it was Ron Hope on the other end of the line, in the UK on a business trip, along with Stewart Bassett of Eurodragster sponsors US Automotive.
After Ron and Stuart arrived we were given a tour by Nick of his race and road car collection, including a restomod pickup which looks highly suitable for RWYB at a nostalgia meeting, and Nick's OSCAR (Old School Classic Altered Racer) Fiat Topolino which is in mid-build with a complete blown Hemi engine on the side.
Whilst Nick is currently resting from track action, Ron said he is driving a Fuel Altered for the last time at this year's California Hot Rod Reunion from 21st-23rd October, and has confirmed the list of altereds attending to bid Ron a farewell from competition. Ron will however continue to be involved, with son Brian as driver of Pure Hell and grandson Michael who will be racing a blown alky altered in 7.0 Pro once he is licensed.
The line-up for the CHRR is:
Supercharged Outlaws Champion announced.
6th October: Supercharged Outlaws chairman Andy 'Fadster' Hadfield has announced the 2022 Champions for the class:
"Huge congratulations to the Supercharged Outlaws championship winning Team El Loco of Keith Freeman. Attending every event of the 2022 season and generally staying within 0.2 of their dial in but this didn’t stop the team smashing PB after PB on ET and MPH.
"A hard fought season against the fast and consistent Gary Parkes Team Purple Daze but pipped at the last event by only 8 points separating the two teams. We look forward to both teams coming back to do it all again in 2023!
You can see the 2022 Supercharged Outlaws points table at this link, or via our points page which you can find under news, and then points standings in the main menu. Andy adds "Special thanks to Meghan Evans for taking on points duties and assistance during my time away from the group to support my wife Hayley."
Japshow Finale 32 car Shootout.
6th October: At this weekend's Japshow Finale, some of the quickest "Compact" cars in the UK will be competing in a 32 car Sports Compact Shootout at Santa Pod Raceway. The entry level has been transformed from previous years with a prize fund of £1,000 to the winner, £500 Runner Up plus trophies.
The Sports Compact Shootout is open to FWD, RWD and 4WD cars with compact engines (4, 5 or 6 cylinders and rotaries). Entries include Fast Show winner and Fast Show Reloaded runner up Matt Davison (Honda Civic), Fast Show Reloaded winner Ahmed Jamshaid (Honda Civic) and Ultimate Street Car winner Ian Pepper (Vauxhall Nova), also USC runner up Craig Evans (Vauxhall Corsa). Expect times in the nines at over 150mph from the quicker runners and even the odd eight if conditions allow. For videos of the contenders head over to the Mk1 Kieran Facebook page.
As the car show season closes, Jap Show Finale is your last chance to get your car out there before winter draws in. Santa Pod Raceway have something for everyone with the Show Paddock with six prize categories, public Run What Ya Brung with nine trophies, one for each Japanese marque, is to everyone including bikes with a Trade area and more. You can get tickets at santapodtickets.com and see the running order at this link.
Nostalgia Superstock thanks.
6th October: Thanks to Don Scott, UK Nostalgia Superstock co-ordinator, for supplying his thanks to the folks who have helped the class have its best year yet:
"Well, other than our last event at Melbourne, that's a wrap on the NSS race season at Santa Pod, and what a great year it's been, with record race entries at Dragstalgia and Mopar Nats.
"So on behalf of myself and my fellow reps, I'd like to say a massive thank you to each and every one of you that make this class simply the best, all the racers, crews, supporters, commentators, sponsors, and of course my fellow reps Bev N Rob Tyrrell, Jim Chandler, Andrew Bishop, and Nïamh Frances Smith, also my lovely long suffering wife Brigitte Scott.
"Also of course, our thanks go out to Santa Pod Raceway and all their staff, management, fire crews, marshals, medical teams, and to Ian Marshall with the SPRC team for putting on fantastic permit events.
"As I pulled slowly out of the Pod on a beautiful autumnal Monday morning last, I found time to reflect on those less fortunate than ourselves, the awful time Hayley Hadfield and her family are going through, the sad loss of Jon Morton at the track, the passing of our Queen, and several other families going through a difficult time at present. It certainly makes you appreciate every day we are blessed with.
"So as the nights draw in and the winter months arrive, all the best for your race car updates, improvements, repairs and in general anything you're up to. My passion for this class is no secret, and its always been my dream to see a full 64 car ladder plus bumps ... can we do this in 2023? I certainly hope so, and I know it's something that Santa Pod would love to see, what a sight that would be, all those U.S. muscle cars filling the pairing lanes!
"Well thats it from me for now, sadly due to family commitments I will not be able to make it to Melbourne, but I'm looking forward to seeing everyone soon in 2023, love and peace to you all."
See Don's championship winning Superbird in two well produced and imaginative videos from Max Wolf Media on Youtube.
The lifestyle championship at Melbourne Raceway looks like coming down to a battle between Stuart 'Kiwi' Thompson, Dave Billadeau and Adam Nowak as contenders James Oliver and Simon Rickwood will not be attending. Despite the worst of four rounds being dropped, a points bonus of 200 for attending all four rounds will make it tight at the top. Qualifying and eliminations have been planned for Saturday with grudge racing to be held on Sunday.
Drag bike racers do speedway.
6th October: Santa Pod Raceway starter and sometime drag bike racer Dave Warren writes to say that a group of noteworthy drag bike racers had a try at speedway recently and found it fun, but not without its risks:
"So after going to Cardiff to watch the FIM Speedway GP, a comment was made "How good would that be to have a go, it cant be that hard" and seeing Brit Dan Bewly win, we decided to see how hard this speedway was. So after booking in with Speedway Ride n Slide Dayz I think it's safe to say we found out. After a few chats, we had the following group of people:
"After a great day at the school with some great teaching and advice from the instructors it looked like some of us may be the next Dan Bewly in 20 years time. If you are looking to have a go ride 'n' slide is the place to go, they are very good at what they do.
Come to the end of the session and the last go of the day, which involved starting next to each other at the tapes. On the penultimate lap Bois might of had a little issue, which ended with him collecting the fence and sending him and his bike down right in front of me!
"For those that don't know a speedway bike is a 500cc methanol single cylinder, has no brakes, and are only designed to go left. Which resulted in me going straight into Bois' bike and me flying and landing on poor Bois (sorry dude).
"Bois has ended up in hospital for a few days with a few broken ribs and some fluid on the lungs, the rest of us are all sore in one way or another but all left with smiles on our faces after a great day of riding, and looking to doing it again.. well maybe not Bois.
So lesson learnt the pros make it look easy and it might take a bit more practice, but I think we have got the crashing down to a T.
If this hasn't put anyone off, I would highly recommend giving it a go! You can book it at www.speedwayridenslidedayz.com."
Melbourne Grand Finale preview.
5th October: This weekend at Melbourne Raceway is the Grand Finale of the 2022 season for the eighth mile track.
There will be racing from up to 16 members of UK Nostalgia Superstock in the final round of their lifestyle championship, Outlaw Street and National Street Car Challenge racing as well as Duck All Prep and qualifying and eliminations for the usual Melbourne bike classes. Also featured is a Saturday evening firework display and live music. Weekend camping is available. The event takes placee this coming weekend 8th-9th October at Melbourne Raceway, Ash Lane, Melbourne, Yorkshire YO42 4SS. Track action is from 10am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday.
You can book in advance by clicking on the following links. Spectator booking can be made by clicking on this link or you will be able to get in by paying on the gate. Racers should fill in an entry form at this link and then car racers should get their race tickets by clicking on this link and bike racers by clicking on this link.
Former Eurodragster.com editor Tog will be on hand to take photos and post results. In the meantime, longtime Melbourne track photographer Richard Smith has posted a gallery from the September meeting on his website.
FIA drag racing is on again.
5th October: Thanks to Pär 'Pippi' Willén for sending a season review by Pro Stock racer and now 12 time FIA Pro Stock champion Jimmy Ålund:
The last two years have of course been dismal. First and foremost, the pandemic caused many personal tragedies. It also affected material things like world-wide sports, including international drag racing. The 2022 season was a good start for normalizing the FIA Drag Racing Series. However, the effects of the pandemic caused long term issues for planning and moving forward. This included not being able to run the number of events we were used to, the FIA Pro Stock Championship was decided over three events.
The FIA Pro Stock season started with the Summit Racing Scandinavian Internationals at Tierp Arena in Sweden.
Qualifying was exceptional for the Ålund team. The car ran not only very strong, the numbers would have made for a successful outing in any ET-class. The four qualifying runs netted ETs of 6.56, 6.54, 6.57, and 6.55. All speeds were in excess of 340 km/h (211.27 mph). Ålund ran the quickest ETs and speeds in all the qualifying runs. This also means that he collected the maximum available 12 bonus points. Keep that in mind.
"That was quite a start to the FIA championship" says Ålund. "The conditions were great and we had also managed to fit in a test session earlier in the summer. The results made for better short incrementals, especially the 60 foot times, and better consistency".
Sunday, eliminations. The performance from qualifying continued, Ålund won the first round with an ET of 6.56 at 341.77 km/h (212.37 mph). The second round was not as stellar, mechanical issues made for a loss against the would-be event winner Robin Norén.
"That's racing", says Ålund, "despite what happened to us, we're good with what we accomplished in qualifying and in the first elimination round". Ålund continues, "it was a great comeback weekend for drag racing in general with almost 300 racers and large crowds in place. Pro Stock did real well, 11 teams in place with a great mix of cars. Ford, Dodge, Chevrolet and Pontiac were represented".
Race number two: the NitrOlympx, Hockenheim, Germany. Tough conditions, it was very hot. The high temperatures made it hard to master the tricky track. As usual an enormous crowd, about 58.000 and a new record according to reports.
Qualifying started out well, #1 qualifier after the first round, Q1. Q2 did not go well with engine trouble but things turned back to the better for Q3 and Q4 where Ålund ran the quickest ETs. He thus collected 9 qualifying bonus points.
Sunday, eliminations. Still very hot but Ålund kept up his bracket racing consistency with wins all the way through the final.
"Hockenheim delivers another spectacular event, sure the track was very hot which of course beyond the control of the organizer but it's a great feeling to race in front of such a huge and appreciative crowd", says Ålund, "we had some issues in Q2 that had us worried but the team managed to sort it out which made for the event win".
Race 3. Season ending at Santa Pod Raceway, the FIA Euro Finals.
Notable was that going into this event, the top-3 in points Pro Stock teams were all here and they all had a shot at winning the 2022 championship.
The weather did not cooperate, rain made for only one qualifying round on the Friday. The Ålund car shook the tires off the starting line and ended up in the last qualifying position, not the place to be for an event that decides the championship.
"No, not good at all, every single point counts, especially here at the last event of the championship" says Ålund, "the weather is unpredictable and no one knows if we'll get any qualifying rounds tomorrow. That is a worrying proposition when you're trying to go to sleep".
Saturday made for more rain but the Santa Pod track crew worked relentlessly as usual which made it possible to get one more qualifying round in before eliminations. Ålund got down the track OK and ended up as the #2 qualifier.
"I'll take that all day long" says Ålund, "we got down the track with fair numbers but Malmgren is clearly the person to beat".
Sunday, eliminations. Again, the weather made for delays to the start of the proceedings. Fog this time, not rain. Ålund made the best of the situation. It was all on the line in round 1, Ålund took the win and secured the teams 12th FIA Pro Stock Championship. Ålund went to the finals where he was up against the #1 qualifier Michael Malmgren. It was as good a final race as there can be, Malmgren took the event win with an ET of 6.615 against Ålunds 6.618. Notable is how tight the points were after the smoke cleared. Ålund finished #1 and 2022 champion with only 11 points more than Malmgren. At the first race at Tierp, Ålund collected 12 qualifying bonus points.
"Lost the battle but won the war" says Ålund, "like I said earlier, Malmgren was the guy to beat. Not only did he get the ET on me but he also cut down the tree with a great reaction time". Ålund continues, "the championship fight was very tight, I won by only 11 points. Qualifying points matter".
Congratulations to the FIA Pro Stock Championship number 12. "Thanks" says Ålund, "be sure it was an all-out team effort, it's great to race for a championship again. We're looking forward to more of the same in 2023".
Summit Racing Equipment is sponsoring the Ålund Pro Stock Camaro Racing Team this year as well. This is in addition to Tunghantering, Funny Garage, Viking Industrimålning, Sverigedemokraterna, KB Racing, Camaroskroten, and Stigs Axle and Parts. Jimmy Ålund Racing is very grateful for the continuing support from such great companies.
Photo credit: Glynn Dennis
Malta entry opens Sunday.
5th October: Malta Drag Racing Association secretary Konrad D'Anastasi has announced that on Friday at 8pm the club are holding a presentation for the fourth and final 2022 Quarter Mile Event at Hal Far Raceway. Konrad says:
"From next Sunday 9th October we are opening registration for the November event. Registration is going to remain open until either we reach 130 vehicles, or on the last day of registration which is 5th of November, during our run what ya brung event.
"Since we are expecting a lot of entries for this event, we suggest that if you plan on participating, you should register as early as possible, as once the limit is reached no further registrations will be allowed. Registration is going to be on a first come first served basis."
Here are the times for November's RWYB and QTM:
Saturday 5th November: 10:00-17:00
Thursday 17th November: 10:00-17:00
Friday 18th November: 10:00-17:00
Saturday 19th November: 10:00-17:00
Sunday 20th November: 10:00-17:00
We look forward to posting galleries from the event from Kieran who will be attending as a videographer, and photos from Andrew Green who will be spectator-side.
5th October: Happy Birthday for today to newly married 9.50 Bike spouse and FB group administrator Debbie Sawatzki, Straightliners boss Trevor Duckworth, photographer and hot rodder Kenzie Taylor, Dutch racer Hans van der Spek and NHRA great and B.R.A.K.E.S. Teen Pro-Active Driving School owner Doug Herbert. We hope you all have a great day.
The 2022 finale of Funny Car Chaos promises much action with 50 Funny Cars signed up and also 15 Outlaw Fuel Altereds (alky or nitro) who will all be racing this coming weekend over the eighth mile at the Texas Motorplex. To get us up to speed for the event, there is a live preview being streamed on Youtube at this link at 01:00 UK time on 6th February. The preview will be hosted by announcer David Rattan and pit correspondent Lee Craft, with series promoter Chris Graves also taking to the mic. You can see the entry list at this link. Floracing will be streaming the event from 19:00 on Friday 7th October (subscription payable) via this link.
Stephen "Jacko" Taylor.
4th October: We were very sorry to hear of the passing of former Shakespeare County Raceway marshal and DJ Stephen "Jacko" Taylor, who also raced in the Wild Bunch, from his friend from Angus Pulley.
Jerry Cookson wrote "Jacko was one of the original APIRA marshals at Avon Park Raceway who looked after the water boxes for a great number of years, as well as being one of the track's life-long characters at Kenny’s Bar and on the decks, playing music we all wanted to hear until the early hours."
Jacko as a member of the Wild Bunch Drag Racing Club, raced a dragster under the name Team Claustrophobic, from 2005 to 2011. We send our deepest condolences to Jacko's family members Emma and Linda, also to his three grandchildren and friends.
UK Tech Committee meeting.
4th October: Many thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for sending us details of the forthcoming UK Drag Racing Technical Committee meeting:
The UK Drag Racing Technical Committee will meet on Sunday 16th October 2022 at 10:00. The meeting will take place at the Hotel Restaurant Campanile, off Junction 15 of M1, Loake Close, Northampton NN4 5EZ.
Could any persons wishing to attend the meeting please contact Ian at email@example.com. Please do not just turn up as we have a limited amount of space booked. Also if you wish to have a topic discussed, technical matters only please, then please also email Ian by Tuesday 11th October, so that items can be added to the agenda.
DRU Pro ET champion decided at Zerbst.
4th October: Thanks to Drag Race Union organiser Markus Münch for sending his account of the deciding round of the Pro ET Championship at the DMSB Cup race run by AMC Dessau at Zerbst Airfield on 1st-3rd October.
What a season we have behind us, Rivanazzano, Clastres, NitrOlympX as well as Santa Pod and Zerbst races. AMC Dessau is the first German organizer after the Jade Race in 2019 and the races in Bechyne, Czech Republic, to organize an official National (NEAFP) race. Hats off to that, you have to trust yourself first. Otherwise the only German drag races are the international NitrOlympX, and clubsport events in Germany that are limited to classes slower than 9.00 seconds. Over 200 entries at Zerbst speak for themselves. The track in Zerbst was flooded - in several respects. The paddock was full, that's how it's supposed to be. We need more "official" races to keep the sport from dying out. Thank you AMC Dessau, thank you for taking this risk despite the limited crew and I hope you can take it again in 2023.
The paddock was also flooded by massive waterfalls from above. On Saturday only the juniors went on the track, on Sundas almost everyone had a qualifying run. On Monday there was a little qualifying for those who hadn't run yet and then the eliminations.
In Super Pro ET, the four participants qualified as follows: Oliver Krautberger in first place, followed by Michael Mikuscheit in his El Camino, Frank Römer in his Camaro and Oliver Petzold in his Corvette. The Chevy Festival has begun.... In round one, Krautberger won against Mikuscheit and Petzold against Römer, who pulled a red light. In the final, Oliver Petzold defeated the Austrian Oliver Krautberger. This did not change anything in terms of the overall DRU Challenge Super Pro standings this year which you can see at this link.
In Pro ET, the DRU Challenge was still open, albeit difficult to change the rankings of the top four as only the best four races count towards the overall ranking. Janine Petzold (pictured left) was fourth, only four points behind Ronnie Mercer(pictured right), who could no longer collect any points. For that Janine needed a passable qualifying result and had to drive up at least to round three, which would make her third in the challenge. Martin Weikum led the Challenge in his golden Camaro ahead of Armin Widmann's white Camaro (pictured above), only fifteen points separating the two. Both needed to advance to the semi-finals to improve their score at all.
Martin Weikum was eliminated in round one which gave the young Bavarian Widmann the opportunity to win the title. Widmann needed to advance to the final in order to collect enough points. He won rounds two and three, was in the semifinals which he had to win - and he dis! Crazy how close that was. However, Widmann lost the race in the final against Michael Försch from the A Team Dragrace Team, who, with that success, moved up from the midfield to fifth place in the challenge with just three races this season.
Congratulations to the last minute challenge winner Armin Widmann from BDRC and HARA, the runner up Martin Weikum, as well as Janine Petzold in third place and Ronnie Mercer in fourth place. With his participation in the semifinals, Thomas Bublitz moved up to sixth place in the challenge.
An exciting season has come to an end in both challenges. Be our guest in Bitz near Stuttgart when the winners are crowned. There is food, drink, live music, a DJ and of course trophies and traditionally a good atmosphere.
Spitfire Raceway announces 2023 dates.
4th October: With the final race of 2022 being on 10th December, Perranporth, Cornwall's Spitfire Raceway has announced its dates for 2023:
4th October: Happy Birthday for today to Pro ET racer Kieran Turner, expat racer and carburetor guru Tony Morris, Maltese Super Street Bike racer Franklyn Borg and German Super Pro ET racer Oliver Petzold. We hope you all have a great day.
In addition to the Straight to the Point '37 Ford of George Chiarella and Motor Psycho AA/FA of Adam Gleadow, the Rocket Mercury Gasser of Simon Prest made it to the UK Final of the Hot Wheels Legends Tour. The shortlist and UK winner of the competition will be announced on Friday.
German photographer Volker Seifert has updated his website with a gallery of photos from this year's NitrOlympX which you can view by clicking here.
VW Heads up at GTi Festival.
3rd October: Congartulations to Dave Henderson who was the winner of VW Heads Up at the GTi Festival yesterday, and the VW Heads Up Champion 2022. The Audi RS3 racer ran a string of eight second time trial passes over the weekend, culminating in a new PB of 8.7485/160.24. The qualifying and eliminations for the race were:
Davve Henderson 9.348/156.87 def. Grant Parker 10.465/123.73
Richard Milton 10.018/147.20 def. Chris Waterhouse 10.578/126.51
Paul Jordan 9.525/148.58 def. Marc Taylor 11.016/138.68
Jacob Bailey 10.516/147.68 def. Wayne Gill 11.263/123.40
Dave Henderson def. Richard Milton
Paul Jordan 9.636/146.18 def. Jacob Bailey 10.052/145.78
David Henderson 9.260/159.63 def. Paul Jordan 10.233/142.94
Not eligible for competing in VW Heads up but VW based and turbo LS powered, the new Passat of Rob Carter ran an impressive PB of 8.5665/165.46 on Sunday in only its second event and we look forward to seeing it in VW Pro and Street Eliminator in 2023.
Photos courtesy VWDRC.
3rd October: Happy Birthday today to British Drag Racing Hall of Fame member and drag bike pioneer Alf Hagon who celebrates 90 years, 8.50 Bike racer Andy Haley and Super Pro ET racer Saskia Jell. We hope you all have a wonderful day.
A couple of photographers have uploaded albums from the recent NSRA Hot Rod Drags, MCT Photography aka Kenzie Taylor has a Facebook Album which you can see by clicking here and Gary Keep has posted sets of photos to the UK & European Drag Racing Photos Facebook Group which you can see by clicking here.
Also posting photos, timely in the run-up to the next meeting at Melbourne Raceway is Bad Yeti Kustom Print, aka Steve Purdon, who has posted photos from Saturday 17th September which you can see by clicking here.
Our thoughts at this time are with those who suffered loss as a result of Hurricane Ian which hit Florida a few days ago. A few expat European racers reported the effects of the storm and we wish them well also any others affected. Former Top Fuel racer Viveca Averstedt said "We are ok and are lucky we didn’t get flooding like our neigbor. Just a bit disaster in our backyard with a tree over the power lines plus our giant cactus also over the power line. We will probably be without power for a week." Pro Modified and No Prep racer Adam Flamholc said "Craziest 48 hours of my life, heartbreaking to see all the damage in our area, and to hear about the people that lost their lives here. It’ll be a while before we get electricity and water back, and it’ll be a longer while to get our house and shop back to how it was." Former Pro Mod and Top Fuel racer Joran Persåker reported "The radio works sometimes, no power, no internet. My house got out of it complete but many roofs of others have gone, with pool cages and fences destroyed." We hope that repairs and restoration of services can be undertaken speedily so life returns to normal for many, and send our condolences to those who lost loved ones.
Martin Jarman's funeral.
2nd October: Thanks to John Hunt for supplying details of the funeral of 1970s and 80s dragster racer Martin Jarman:
Martin Jarman's funeral will be at the Guildford Crematorium, New Pond Road, Godalming, GU7 3DB on Tuesday 11th October at 1.30pm. The wake will take place at The Cricketers, Aldershot Road, Guildford GUE 33A.
Martin's three daughters, Richard and myself welcome anyone who knew Martin to attend either or both.
Dakota gallery and video.
2nd October: Thanks to Kieran for supplying a gallery of photos from the Drag & Drift event held yesterday at Dakota Raceway, Smeatharpe, Devon.
Kieran says "The day was dry and there were plenty of bikes as well as a number of cars." We will supply results as soon as they are published.
You can see Kieran's gallery sponsored by John Woolfe Racing by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link in the main menu at the top of the page. You can also see Kieran's video from the event on his Mk1 Youtube channel at this link.
The event was the last 2022 Drag & Drift at Dakota, we look forward to publishing the 2023 calendar in due course.
2nd October: Congratulations to 9.50 Bike champions Debbie and Richard Sawatzki (pictured left) on their marriage yesterday. Debbie says "Although I changed my name years ago and, after keeping the date secret, we finally got married at 4pm yesterday". Our best wishes to Debbie and Richard on a long and happy marriage.
Happy Birthday for today to radio presenter and former Nitro FM DJ Nigel Fitzmaurice who reaches 60 years young, Street Eliminator racer Mark Sheridan, former 9.50 Bike racer and Billy Gane team member Jak Hylton, and former Junior Dragster racer Joe Holland-Villa. We hope you all have a great day.
You can see video of the VW Heads Up competition from Santa Pod Raceway being shown on Facebook live at the VWDRC FB page. Qualifying and elimination rounds will be shown with commentary from Luke Stevenson.
Congratulations to Lex Joon who had a new PB of 3.878/310.91 at the NHRA Mid-West Nationals at World Wide Technology Raceway yesterday, however commiserations as he was only five hundredths of a second outside the 16 car field for eliminations today. Follow today's race at www.nhra.com or www.dragracecentral.com.
Dale Ackworth and Michael Castle's Spotted Motors Youtube channel has footage of their LS twin turbo engined Cortina at Melbourne Raceway at the September meeting. You can see the behind the scenes footage of Dale and Michael's exploits at this link.
Drag Race Union Pro ET to be decided at Zerbst.
1st October: Drag Race Union have announced the current scores in the Pro and Super Pro ET championships, held across Europe since 2008, ahead of the final round which is being held in Zerbst, Germany this weekend. Markus Münch reports:
"Super Pro ET has already been decided, Angel Romero & his team are the DRU Super Pro ET Challenge 2022 winners so congratulations to Angel and crew. The Super Pro ET Challenge involved 24 participants from six nations, scoring points from a number of nominated races. Angel with Team Centauro, who went through a course at the Frank Hawley Drag Racing School in Gainesville, won the Clastres #18 race and the Rivanazzano Wide Open race for the majority of his 2022 points total. Billy Gane was runner up following his win at the Springspeed Nationals, and Alain Dürr was third after being a semi finalist in the final Clastres Race.
"In Pro ET it will be very exciting. We can't wait. Martin Weikum (pictured below left) is not even a race lap ahead of Armin Widmann (pictured below right). Both have the problem of having to get to at least round three in order to score more points due to the "4 race count" rule. This means only Armin can make only make up points on Martin from the semi-finals. Janine Petzold will likely be passing Ronnie Mercer from rank four to rank three.
"The Drag Race Union annual end of the season party will take place on 29th October, 2022 at Hillbilly's Heaven in Bitz, Truchtelfinger Strasse 1, D-72475 Bitz. Included is a practice tree competition sponsored by Hoosier-Rennreifen.de for one person per team, with the first prize a voucher worth € 500 runner up getting an OGIO backpack worth €100. Payment of €30 for the pulled pork buffet and drink should be made by 22nd October."
We wish Markus a get well soon, as due to ill health he will be unable to attend this weekend's race.
You can see the 190+ entries, schedule and results of the DMSB Cup - AMC Dessau race at Zerbst Airfield at this link. There are entries in most sportsman classes, including a strong Sport Compact contingent running in three brackets from 9s to 11s index. Junior Dragster will include Liam McDonald.
Pictures from 2022 NitrOlympX by Kirstie
1st October: Happy Birthday to Wild Bunch Antique Toy racer Daniel Wilson, have a great day Daniel.
Good luck and stay safe to expat Dutch racer Lex Joon who is racing at the Worldwide Technology Raceway at Madison, Illinois this weekend in the NHRA Midwest Nationals. Lex says "Our first qualifier last night didn’t bring us the run we where looking for due to a clutch malfunction. We are going to fix the issue and give it another try." You can follow Lex's #NVRQuit team with crew chief and wife Gerda on www.nhra.com or www.dragracecentral.com.
You can see a video sequence of ET Bike racer Scott Collier's National Finals, taken by Dad and crew chief Jerry, with plenty of onboard footage, on Youtube at this link.
For those seeking live streaming this weekend a free stream of the Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Cars meeting at Palmyra Dragway, Australia, is currently on show via Youtube at this link.